g ) in p9 ch r ( oa ea pr y Ap 25th r ou


Tell us why you did it?

the National Newspaper for Prisoners & Detainees

Seasons greetings to all our readers A ‘not for profit’ publication / ISSN 1743-7342 / Issue No. 186 / December 2014 / www.insidetime.org An average of 60,000 copies distributed monthly - Independently verified by the Audit Bureau of Circulations plus over 450,000 monthly online readership - Independently verified using SMARTER STATS

Eric McGraw talks to former MP Denis MacShane about what he learnt from his short time in prison

Dr Peter Pratt How to prepare yourself for an Oral Hearing if you’re innocent page ...................... 22

pages ............... 30-31

The 1st miscarriage of justice Jon Robins The amazing and unreported case of Tony Stock page ...................... 35

25th Anniversary 2015 wallplanner inside

‘TREAT PRISONERS AS HUMAN BEINGS, NOT CRIMINALS’ In Sweden, Parliament provides the legal framework and the funds to run prisons but the Government is prohibited from interfering with the way it does its job, says Nils Oberg - Sweden’s prisons boss Oberg spelt out how he refuses to employ anyone as a prison officer who is “afraid of prisoners because of the crimes they have committed, indifferent to them as individuals and human beings, or in any way disrespectful or looking down on them because of the situation they are in”.

Peter Stanford Director, The Longford Trust


he Director of Sweden’s Prison and Probation Service has appealed in his 2014 Longford Lecture for a penal system that “treats prisoners as human beings, not criminals”. Nils Oberg, speaking to a capacity audience of 700 at Church House, Westminster, on November 27, attributed the success of Sweden in cutting prisoner numbers and closing prisons to the dedication and care of his staff.



He also pointed out the lack of political interference in his country in the prison system. “In Sweden, as opposed to many other jurisdictions, individual members of government are constitutionally prohibited from interfering with the way we carry out our tasks. The government defines general goals for the administration to reach, and Parliament provides the legal framework and the funds to do the job. Nils Oberg addressing the 2014 Longford Lecture

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Continued on page 12... Rachel Billington writes pages 18-19

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“We run an organisation where respect for prisoners is fundamental to all that we do, and not subject to compromises. It is imprinted throughout the entire organisation and it is non-negotiable. Positive and reinforcing interaction with prisoners is vital. We don’t ask for the impossible of our staff. No one can like everyone all the time. That is not the point. But staff must be equipped with a mind-set which is both firm and open - enforcing but at the same time understanding.”

Since 2011, Sweden has seen an annual decline of six per cent in its prison population. He put this down to a number of factors, including a strong commitment to non-custodial sentences, and a determination “to make every day count” in terms of rehabilitation when prisoners are in his care.



If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number and prison) to ‘Mailbag’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.


How much longer must I suffer?

the national newspaper for prisoners published by Inside Time Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of The New Bridge Foundation, founded in 1956 to create links between the offender and the community.

Around the 12-2-14 a few prisoners and I staged a peaceful protest at HMP Elmley over the prison’s refusal to allow us access to the showers for over a week, despite the fact that we worked in a dusty workshop for 6 hours a day. The morning after the peaceful protest they sent an anti-riot team to each of our cells and some of us were treated violently before all being shipped out of HMP Elmley. A few of us were transferred to HMP Thameside and, upon arrival; we were informed that we were to be ‘placed on observation because we had been involved in a riot’? I feel somewhat powerless against these people who exaggerated facts in order to defame and punish, but they can get away with what they like because they are in positions of power. My custodial sentence finished in November 2013 and the license expired in December 2013. I requested to be relocated to a detention centre the day my sentence was finished and was told that there is ‘no room’ in any of them. I have now been held in Category B prisons for nearly a year on top of my sentence, which was a 28 day recall, and been locked up in these conditions for 23 hours a day. I recently requested a transfer to a removal centre and was declined because of the ‘12-2-14 riot’. I wish someone would tell me how much longer I will have to suffer oppression and abuse as my sentence is over.

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Trevor Grove - Former Editor Sunday Telegraph, Journalist, Writer and serving Magistrate. John Carter - Former international healthcare company Vice-President. Geoff Hughes - Former Governor, Belmarsh prison. Eric McGraw - Former Director, New Bridge (1986-2002) and founder of Inside Time in 1990. John D Roberts - Former Company Chairman and Managing Director employing ex-offenders. Louise Shorter - Former producer, BBC Rough Justice programme. © © a Alistair a H. E. Smith B.Sc F.C.A. - Chartered not Trustee and Treasurer, not Accountant, New Bridge profit profit Foundation. publication service



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Correspondence Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB. Accounts & Admin: Inside Time, P.O.Box 251, Hedge End, Hampshire SO30 4XJ. 0844 335 6483 / 01489 795945 0844 335 6484 [email protected] www.insidetime.org If you wish to reproduce or publish any of the content from in Inside Time, you should first contact us for written permission. Full terms & conditions can be found on the website.

Subscribe Inside Time is distributed free of charge throughout the UK prison estate. It is available to other readers via a postal subscription service. ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION CHARGES £35 for single copies to UK addresses plus £10 p.a. for each additional copy to the same address. Charities and Volunteers (UK only) £25 p.a. for a single copy Overseas Subscriptions rates will be £48 p.a. for Europe and £58 for the Rest of the World both plus £20 p.a. for each additional copy going to the same overseas address. 

...................................................................................................... KEITH MOYO - HMP THAMESIDE

Where’s my copy of Inside Time?

..................................................... R B - HMP WORMWOOD SCRUBS I would like to comment on the fact that the copies of Inside Time always seem to arrive late in the month. This means that we have little chance of entering any of the competitions and even less chance of winning any of the prizes. Can anyone tell me exactly when we are supposed to receive the paper as we always seem to be playing catch-up? This is very frustrating as it seems to arrive at different times every month.

‘Playing dangerous games with people’s lives’

..................................................... KEITH - HMP PARC My first impression of the British justice system is one of shock and horror as I believe the system over here is unfair and unjust. It seems that those in authority just make laws and change established laws just to suit themselves or whichever tabloid headline shouts the loudest. You can get locked up here for anything and if there is not a law against it then they will just tailor one to suit or an existing law will be ‘amended’.

It is hard enough getting out of the prison Editorial note: We do appreciate the frustrasystem but then when you do you are just set up to fail. Putting newly-released prisoners tion caused for readers. With that in mind we Blavo Nov 2012_Blavo Dec 2008 red border SHADOW.qxd 13/11/2012 09:42 Page 1 back into an environment with other ex have already decided to start publishing a prisoners, or ex-drug users being placed back little earlier in the month starting in January. with addicts in bail hostels on release is about as stupid as you can get. No wonder there are We will also be extending the closing dates so many repeat offenders and recalls to prison. for competitions, quizzes and poetry The system needs to be pulled together, not split up and part privatised. contributions. This will mean we will have to publish the names of winners two issues later but prizes and notifications will still be sent out on time [see page 54]. We advise all librarians by email when the paper is despatched so they are aware of when to pick them up from the gate or storeroom. Do let us know if there are delays at your prison.

Probation Officers already have too much power that they do not deserve; only a judge or magistrate should be allowed to take a person’s freedom away. This prison is full of recalled prisoners who have not even committed any recognisable crime - some are here because they did not want to go into hostels and mix with drug users and other prisoners, and that cannot be right. They are playing dangerous games with people’s lives.

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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

‘Thieves, liars and false accusers!’

..................................................... WT - HMP LOWDHAM GRANGE Whilst at HMP Whitemoor a friend sent me a Christmas card with £150 postal order enclosed, but when I was given the card there was no mention of the postal order. When I put in a general app to find out what had happened to it I was informed that when the card was opened (before I ever laid eyes on it) there was no postal order enclosed. I informed the friend who had sent it and he sent me a copy of the purchase receipt from his local post office with all details including the postal order number and time and date of purchase. I gave copies of this evidence to HMP Whitemoor’s Finance Department and they still denied that the postal order had reached the prison. I then wrote to Royal Mail who informed that HMP Whitemoor had cashed the postal order on the 27th of the 12th 2013! So I began proceedings to try and get my money back from them. To cut a long story short, in June 2014 the governor of HMP Whitemoor wrote to me and said I was to be given my £150 plus £50 for my costs (31 stamps, photocopying, etc). Two weeks later the security governor here at HMP Lowdham Grange said I was not getting my £150 and he was 100% sure that I was trying to defraud HMP Whitemoor. He called in the police and wanted me arrested! He also told me that I would have to pay the costs of his inquiry. I immediately got in touch with a solicitor. Then I got a letter from the Head of Security at HMP Whitemoor who said that the police did not have evidence to charge me and instructed HMP Lowdham Grange to pay me only £150. I wrote back and asked for my £50 costs and an apology. Eventually I received my £50 costs but was told that I will ‘never’ get an apology. The false accusers have had no action taken against them.

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If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number and prison) to ‘Mailbag’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

Star Letter of the Month Congratulations and a £25 cash prize for this month’s Star Letter.

PSI this, that and the other...

................................................................................................... DEREK ARNOLD - HMP FORD

‘Thank you for the book ban’

..................................................... RAY BISHOP - HMP WORMWOOD SCRUBS I would just like to comment on what a good thing it is that Chris Grayling has banned prisoners from receiving books through the post from their loved ones. I mean, the thought of a prisoner reading a book and perhaps educating him/herself could result in such a travesty of justice as personal rehabilitation. Who knows, it could even lead a prisoner to go on and gain useful knowledge that might help with employment on release, the thought of which must cause deep distress to those clowns in the ‘Justice’ Department. I suppose the typical knee-jerk reaction from the people who run our prison system is a result of watching ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, I mean they must think that we all keep rock hammers concealed in the hollowed out pages of books!

Reading the letters pages of Inside Time is always enlightening and they serve to prove two things. The first is that the problems experienced by prisoners are universal and the second is that year-on-year nothing changes. Actually, the second point is not quite true - things do change, but only for the worst. Many letters relate to the failure of various establishments to adhere to the NOMS guidelines as defined in the multitude of Prison Service Instructions (PSIs) which were previously Prison Service Orders (PSOs), so perhaps the essence of the problem is in the change of name? Having gone through the complaints process, including contacting the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) many inmates are left in total confusion and frustration and share their feelings in the letters they write. I doubt that anyone expects some miraculous intervention that will resolve their problems, but putting pen to paper is often a mechanism that helps us cope with the stupidity and futility which is the prison system. NOMS invariably write about their dependence on the PSIs and the guidance they supposedly provide. They may quote

from PSI-this, that and the other in the same way that the original letter writer, in their frustration, has described how prison staff themselves failed to adhere to the guidance. Invariably the advice from NOMS is to raise a complaint, again totally ignoring the fact that the letter was most likely written due to the lack of response and the continued failure of the establishment to work within its own guidelines. Every government department is full of people who give themselves willingly and completely to dogma. The adherence to rules, no matter how inane, stupid or contradictory may give them a feeling of power that is lacking in their personal lives. These same people have been wielding the same kind of power throughout history; the Nazis, Khmer Rouge, Interahamwe, Janjaweed and other followers of despotic leaders. One thing is clear, there is nothing personal about the treatment of inmates, it is simply systematic and institutionalised behaviour directed at an audience that is held captive, coerced through petty injunctions and forced to comply with situations that any normal person would view as insane.

So let’s all thank Mr Grayling for his gift of spiteful suppression, another sure way to crush any form of real rehabilitation and to send us out of prison uneducated, bitter and twisted and fit for nothing but more crime. He’s created, in short order, an overcrowded, underfunded, understaffed system that can only lead to more reoffending and revolution (not in a good way) in our prisons. Books for prisoners page 12


Contents Mailbag ......................... pages 2-9 .................................... Newsround ................. pages 10-16 .................................... Website Comments ............. page 17 .................................... Diary .......................... pages 18-19 .................................... Comment ................... pages 20-27 .................................... Education ................... pages 28-29 .................................... Interview .................... pages 30-31 .................................... Christmas Messages ......... page 32

Christmas Messages .................................... Police and Crime Commissioner ....................................... page 33 .................................... Inside Justice .................. page 35 .................................... Faith .............................. page 36 .................................... Wellbeing ......................... page 37 .................................... Thought for the Day ............ page 38 Terry Waite’s monthly column

.................................... Family Welfare .................. page 39 .................................... News from the House .... pages 40-41 ................................... Legal ......................... pages 42-45 .................................... Legal Q&A .................. pages 46-47 .................................... Reading ..................... pages 48-49 .................................... Inside Poetry .............. pages 50-51 .................................... Jailbreak ..................... pages 52-55 .................................... National Prison Radio ......... page 56

emailaprisoner The emailaprisoner service enables family, friends, solicitors and other organisations to send messages to prisoners from any computer. It’s faster than 1st class post and costs less than a 2nd class stamp! • Available in 98% of UK prisons.

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Views expressed in Inside Time are those of the authors and not necessarily representative of those held by Inside Time or the New Bridge Foundation.



Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number and prison) to ‘Mailbag’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

Stop talking nonsense!

Suppression of FRFI

I write in reply to the mailbag ‘Worship of ISIS is a satanic promotion’ by a Mr Sawyers (October issue). May I point out that Isis is a female deity in the Egyptian pantheon of gods and goddesses. There were hidden truths in Egyptian mythology known only to initiates. The people who built the pyramids and other great monuments were well aware of this. Satan does not exist in Paganism and there are certainly no cults ‘who worship ISIS for satanic promotion of worldly goods and evil’ that I know of, and I have been a Pagan for a very long time.

Over the years many prisons have stopped prisoners from receiving the publication ‘Fight Racism, Fight Imperialism (FRFI) for a variety of spurious excuses. The most pathetic excuse has recently come from HMP Whitemoor and HMP Full Sutton who claim it is a ‘racist’ paper, which is a bit of an oxymoron considering the title of the paper is ‘FIGHT RACISM...’, but it just goes to illustrate the level of intelligence needed to work in prison security.

........................................................................................................ STEPHEN TWEED - HMP BURE

So, Mr ‘I won’t go into much detail’ Sawyers, what you are putting out is nothing but hot air. As for your statement - ‘They (ISIS) are only doing these things because they have suffered from oppression due to certain political factors and they are only following orders’ - this reminds me very much of the excuses given in 1945 by Rudolph Hess (Auschwitz camp commandant) and by many other prominent Nazis. Yet in his next paragraph Mr Sawyer tells us that ‘Islam is a religion of peace and we are not terrorists, etc’. Mr Sawyer, you cannot condone beheading, mass murder, crucifixion, stoning to death and religicide because the people you choose to glorify had a hard time in the past. Theirs, and your, Islam is clearly NOT a religion of peace so please do not try to excuse the inexcusable. If any cult is ‘satanic’ it is the people you worship. And do you not find it confusing that the majority of ISIS’s victims are other Muslims? Does that seem okay to you? Down with ISIS and all ‘satanic death cults’.

Stop beating around the bush!

..................................................... MICHAEL ROLLINSON - HMP FOREST BANK In response to mailbags in previous (October and November) issues from Mr Devine and Sheik Abu Dira Nasrullah I would like to say that people should not be giving the oxygen of debate to ISIS. Let’s stop calling them ‘ISIS’ or ‘Taliban’ but call them what they really are, which is cowardly, murderous, close-minded religious scumbags.

..................................................... ROSS McPHERSON - HMP BELMARSH

The real reason prisons want to ban FRFI is because they don’t like the draconian modus operandi of segregation units and Close Supervision Centres being exposed to the outside world. They want the public to believe that prisons are holiday camps where leering villains can do what they like, that is why all the fanciful stories about prisoners that you see in the red-top tabloids are fed to them by prison officers (despite it being against the law). This is called ‘disinformation’, if the public don’t know about what’s going on in prisons then as far as the prison service and NOMS are concerned it doesn’t happen. Those prisoners that are in receipt of FRFI can rest assured that they have had SIRS (Security Information Reports) submitted about receiving or writing to FRFI as the prison service perceives any prisoner who voices concern for others as ‘troublemakers’ and ‘subversives’. I was once told by a governor at HMP Woodhill that I cannot complain about the mistreatment of other prisoners, the Prison Ombudsman also takes the same stance, so those who don’t or cannot give voice to their ill-treatment would suffer in silence if not for the likes of FRFI and those who contribute to it. So please show support by writing letters of complaint to the governors of HMP Whitemoor and HMP Full Sutton in order to

stop the suppression of FRFI. Also can we have a definitive answer from NOMS on the subject please?

Writes I can confirm that prisoners in the High Security Estate are allowed to have the publication Fight Racism, Fight Imperialism (FRFI) in their possession. All publications are reviewed and censored for appropriateness prior to issue. As you correctly state, the publication has been stopped from circulation on previous occasions; these decisions would have been based on concerns raised either centrally by NOMS or by staff at the individual prison. One concern that meant this publication was restricted was that FRFI could only be sourced through a system similar to a PO Box number; this is not permitted under Prison Service policy within PSI 49/2011. However, these concerns have now been addressed and so these restrictions have been lifted. Where articles that appear within the publication are deemed by establishment Security Departments as being unsuitable for issue due to the content they will be censored before issue. With regards to your comments about prisoners suffering ill-treatment, I must inform you that all prisoners have access to a number of avenues via which they can report any issues affecting them. These include but are not limited to, the establishment internal complaints system, and access to the Independent Monitoring Board. In addition prisons are subject to a high level of audit and scrutiny by organisations such as the Chief Inspector of Prisons and the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman; also an independent survey to monitor the quality of life for prisoners is undertaken on a regular basis. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the objectives of HM Prison Service are to hold prisoners securely, reduce re-offending and provide a safe environment in which prisoners are treated humanely, decently and lawfully. Segregation Units and the Close Supervision Centre system are some of the mechanisms used to ensure that these objectives can be met.

>> IMPORTANT NOTICE Please include the following information on EVERYTHING you send to Inside Time: Name, Number and Prison. If you do not do this your correspondence can’t be considered for submission. Also, we are not able to acknowledge receipt of your communication, nor will we know where to send any prize money!


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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org


If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number and prison) to ‘Mailbag’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

Living kidney donor turned down

..................................................... MICHAEL SAMS - HMP FULL SUTTON Incredibly, HMP Full Sutton has put in writing that it is not worth spending £7,000 to save a life! A few years ago, whilst I was at HMP Whitemoor, I saw on TV that an 85 year-old had become an altruistic living kidney donor. Every donation saves a life and hundreds of people die every year awaiting an organ. So, thinking this would allow me to give something back (anonymously) to society, I sought advice from healthcare, only to be told that someone else had previously been turned down by the prison due to cost. But, if I was able to pay (presumably in advance) the estimated cost of £25,000 it could go ahead. Before I could complete the legal protocol to involve the courts I was transferred to HMP Full Sutton. I had completed the treatment programme at HMP Whitemoor so this was used as a reason to move me. After a few months I applied to the governor of Full Sutton to donate, but this was turned down due to cost. So I applied to the High Court to have the decision overturned. In the High Court the Prison Service had to admit that the actual cost would be around £6,906 and not £25,000, but they still argued this was too much. Mr Justice Collins agreed but suggested that if I paid for the 5 pre-operative checks then the Prison Service should go ahead, so ‘security concerns’ cannot be the reason for refusal. But even the figure of £6,906 is roughly double the true actual cost to the governor’s budget as his budget includes two scheduled outside hospital appointments per day, so the three escort staff are budgeted for no matter what. So if I paid for 5 pre-operative checks I would be paying for 3 staff who are already being paid by the governor - only the Prison Service could try to make money out of saving a life!

The Prison Service tells me to wait until I am in ‘lower security conditions’ (although ‘lower’ is not defined) or wait until I am released! 1) I have no intention of applying for parole at the end of my tariff, 2) who knows whether I will live that long, 3) organs for donation have to be removed within 3 to 4 hours of death to be of use, and dying in prison means at least a 24 hour delay before the body is released, 4) many years ago I donated my body to medical research, they will take a body whether 24+ hours after death or not, but no organ must have been removed ‘recently’. I checked this with HTA before enquiring to be a donor. I suppose that in these days of austerity it is only right that the Prison Service prioritises its spending, but I am curious about what the governor might say if he or a relative urgently required a kidney to save their life.

More supportive of prisoners’ loved ones

....................................................................................................... DAVE E FERGUSON - HMP WAKEFIELD Supposedly the prison system supports and encourages positive family relationships. However, I think a great many of us here at HMP Wakefield would strongly disagree with that claim. For those of us with wives, girlfriends, fiancés, husbands and partners who stand by us in the darkest of times that the prison system throw at us, we need to recognise how much our other (and very much better) halves sacrifice for us. As a Category A life-sentenced prisoner who is fighting to prove my innocence my fiancé, Carol, never knows when I can come home to her and has put everything on the line for me. Such a situation causes strains that would destroy most relationships, yet she stands by me and supports me without question. Any prisoner who has someone in their life who will stand by them and support them whilst not knowing when their loved one will come home must value that person for the personal sacrifice that is being made for them. Without our ‘better halves’ love and support and understanding our lives in prison would be so much worse. Equally prisons such as Wakefield need to be far more supportive and facilitating of prisoners and their loved ones. Visits should start on time. Letters should not be delayed. Our visitors should not be belittled by staff on visits. When a prison such as Wakefield is openly hostile to prisoners’ families and loved ones they are failing in their duty of care and they are damaging one of the most important elements that will enable prisoners to successfully return to society. Most of all though, we prisoners need to value, honour and respect the sacrifices our loved ones make for us.

‘Healthcare’ a joke

..................................................... SMITHY - HMP OAKWOOD

Used stamps for kidney patient charity

..................................................... M PELOE - HMP LIVERPOOL May I please make an appeal to all Inside Time readers to collect their used stamps and send them to: The British Kidney Patient Association, 3 The Windmills, St Mary’s Close, Turk Street, Alton, GU34 1EF. They will be sold to raise funds to treat young kidney patients. It would really be a great help as there are thousands of letters sent to prisoners every day.


Contact Chris Clark (Solicitor) or Simon Clark (Immigration) on

01785 241944 24 Hour Emergency Number 07802 364 741 [email protected] First Floor, 25 Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LZ

This is one prison where you do not want to get ill, the healthcare here is just about non-existent. We have had one person die here already over poor care, and I wonder how many more will die before they get it sorted. But my complaint, whilst not concerning life and death, is about how long we have to wait for common services. I put down to see the dentist as soon as I got here in June 2013 as I had broken my tooth in HMP Dovegate and I was in moderate pain. I finally got my dental appointment yesterday, and it is for the day after I am being released! I assume that this is somebody’s idea of a joke. I am released on the 16th and my dental appointment is for the 17th! If you can’t get the small things right then what chance has someone got who is seriously ill and in need of treatment? Sort it out Oakwood, your prison and in particular your ‘healthcare’ is an absolute joke.




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Have your say about prison education

..................................................... ROB DEMOTT - UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH I would like to know what you think about prison education. Please write to me, Rob Demott C/O The University of Portsmouth, ICJS, St. Georges Building, 141 High Street, Portsmouth PO1 2HY and have your say on what you think about the education, providers, teachers and courses that are provided in your prison. I want to know if you think the right courses are being provided, if not what would you like? What effect has attending education classes had on you or some of the other prisoners that you know? Have your say, good or bad. All replies will be treated in the strictest of confidence and no one’s identity will be disclosed. Without your input nothing can change for the better.


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If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number and prison) to ‘Mailbag’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

Illegal cell searches?

Self-harming can lead to Basic

..................................................... DAVID BARTON - HMP LOWDHAM GRANGE

..................................................... ALEX WALLIS - HMP PETERBOROUGH When I was remanded into prison back in January all my medication was stopped by a doctor here. I decided that self-harming was the way to remind them that I needed my meds. They couldn’t nick me for it, nor could it affect my IEP status, so that’s what I did. Unfortunately, I was ghosted to HMP Bedford and placed on Basic Regime for self-harming! My question is this - can prisons - private or public - justify using the IEP system to stop someone self harming? I have got to this state as the doctor at Peterborough has stopped all my medication, including one for my epilepsy. I have gone right through the complaints process and IMB to no avail. I am now on Basic.

Writes PSI 30/2013, the IEP national policy framework, sets out that Governors must ensure that their local IEP scheme considers the needs of prisoners who are vulnerable or at risk of suicide or self-harm. All decisions, including the withdrawal of privileges, should be considered on a case by case basis and, where necessary, alongside Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) or any other process that supports vulnerability. The NOMS framework for delivering safer custody procedures and practices to ensure that prisons are safe places for all those who live and work there is set out in PSI 64/2011.

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‘Putting our health and lives in danger’

........................................................................................................ S BROWNE - HMP ISLE OF WIGHT I am a diabetic prisoner. In April 2014, HMP Isle of Wight’s healthcare was taken over by Care UK. Three weeks ago I went to healthcare for new batteries for my Accu-Chek mobile glucose meter. I was told that they did not have any batteries available, but luckily my batteries were not completely dead and they said they would try to get some for me. When I returned I was told that Care UK will not supply batteries and we should buy them from the prison canteen. There are 2 problems with this - 1) most prisoners in this jail are on a wage of less than £5 per week, and 2) the canteen only sells batteries which will operate the alarm on the machine to alert you to the fact it is time to do a test but will not actually perform the test as there is not enough power to operate the motor that performs the task. Surely prisoners should be supplied with these batteries and if not we are in danger of having a hypo or hyper and this is putting our health and lives in danger. Editorial note: Inside Time understands from healthcare staff that Mr Browne was refused the battery in error and this was quickly corrected and he now has new batteries for his glucose meter.







Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Here at HMP Lowdham Grange the staff conduct what they call ‘hooch runs’ (searching for home-made alcohol) on a regular basis, and these are over and above normal cell searches. Ordinarily these ‘hooch runs’ take the form of entering our cells during the lunchtime lock-up for a nose about. However, during the week whenever I come back from work I often return to my cell to find it in quite a different state from how I left it. My bedding is often in a mess, clothing in disarray, family photographs moved, and once I found the bin bag removed from the bin and left in the middle of the floor. When I ask staff why my cell is in this state they tell me it is because they ‘have been doing hooch runs’. I have never come across such a thing in any other prison and as far as I am aware it is illegal to search a cell without the presence and knowledge of the prisoner? These unwarranted searches are causing me unnecessary stress as I never know what state my cell will be in when I return from work. So could NOMS offer some clarification on the legality of the way these so-called ‘hooch runs’ are being carried out? Staff here tell us that these are NOT classed as cell searches and that they are perfectly within their rights to do this. Editorial note - PSI 2011-068 Annex A2 Searching Procedures states: “Unless the prisoner(s) is not available, ie during an intelligence-led search, tell him/her that a search of their cell is to be conducted and advise them of the type of body search they will be given (depending on whether a routine or routine plus cell search is conducted).”

Preventation is always better than cure however it seems even harder to apply the sentiment when you’re in prison. The reported cases of clinical and dental negligence during confinement is on the increase. Whether it is due to a lack of resources or inept practitioning there is no excuse if your health has suffered physically or mentally, as a result you could be due 1000’s of pounds in compensation. Negligence may not just affect you now it could have painful or expensive repercussions far into the future which is why you need expert, experienced advice to secure the compensation which is due to YOU. As one of the countries leading personal injury lawyers Michael Jefferies have been successfully representing prisoners in cases of clinical and dental negligence for many years. We have won compensation from 100’s to 1000’s of pounds all on a NO WIN NO FEE basis. If you feel you’ve been badly treated, misdiagnosed or kept waiting for an unacceptable amount of time contact us now and we will get the compensation you deserve.

Call: 0161 925 4155 I Click: jefferies-solicitors.com I email: [email protected] write to us at: Jefferies Solicitors Limited I Ashley House I Ashley Road I Altrincham I Cheshire I WA14 2DW


Legal paperwork opened 

.....................................................  A PRISONER’S MOTHER My son was due a legal visit from his Barrister and put in a general application to request that he could hand out legal paperwork to the Barrister on a visit.  The reply that came back was that any paperwork he wanted to hand out had to be sent to the security department before the visit, in an unsealed envelope, this would be checked by security to confirm that it was legal paperwork and then security would take it down to the visits room on the day of the visit.  My son declined to leave this with security.  The Barrister was also informed that he could not give my son any paperwork on the visit.   The Barrister sent in legal paperwork to my son and on the inner envelope was written my son’s name and prison number and Rule 39.  This was inside the outer envelope and on the front of the outer envelope was the legal team stamp: it was sent special delivery. Special delivery was guaranteed for the following day.  I checked with the Barrister and he confirmed that this had been signed for by the prison.  This paperwork was not taken to my son until he had requested it and he had informed staff when it had been signed for.  The wing Senior Officer contacted Security about this.  When the legal paperwork was sent to the wing it was in an internal envelope and had clearly been read as the paperwork was not in page order.  My son completed a Comp 1 asking why this had been opened and read despite it being clearly marked as legal mail.  He did not receive a reply to this or the Comp 1A.  He completed a Comp 2 requesting why the Governor had authorised this to be opened and on what grounds.  He also asked him why it had clearly been read, sent to the wing in an internal envelope and he requested to know if an SIR had been completed and was the legal team informed that this had been opened.  The legal team were not informed that this had been opened. The reply from the Governor was that this ‘had been opened in error.’ Which is the constant mealy-mouthed excuse offered in such cases. Can HMP Parkhurst please tell me a) Why prisoners are being forced to hand legally privileged papers to Security in an unsealed envelope? b) Why Rule 39 mail is being opened, read and treated in such a cavalier fashion? c) What are you going to do about it?

trapped? trapp

So much for rehabilitation and reform!

........................................................................................................ NAME WITHHELD - HMP PORTLAND Many people tell me that the crime I am incarcerated for is fairly minor, and that I’m not the type of person they would expect to see in prison due to the way I conduct myself and because of my background. However, the things I’ve been exposed to in prison like drugs, theft and violence, along with the knowledge shared with me by other prisoners about how to commit other crimes like burglary, cash-machine robberies, shoplifting, car theft, etc could potentially make me a much worse person than when I came into prison. Coming to prison for my relatively minor offence has also left me homeless and jobless, so I will have to start again and at something of a disadvantage. I think there is a major flaw in the system whereby they just throw people into prison without considering the after-effects properly. This could explain why so many ex-prisoners go on to reoffend. I realise that there are some people who should be in prison, that is obvious, but if they were to assess people more thoroughly before putting them in prison then we may have a cheaper and better system. First timers like myself would have benefited from a community sentence because I was so terrified of coming to prison I would have completed any order and not have made the same mistake twice. Now I’m here prison has no fear for me any longer and I’ve become hardened in my outlook. Now, if I can’t get another job when I get out prison will be no deterrent. So I have to ask - what is there in or about prison that is supposed to actually reform me? They have taken a relative innocent from the streets and will be sending me out branded as an ex-con, with no fear of prison and with nothing left to lose. If it were not for my upbringing and morals I could end up as just another statistic. So where in prison is the ‘rehabilitation and reform’ that everyone’s always jabbering on about? Total lack of rehabilitation in our prisons page 21

Prison Service doesn’t support British produce or goods

..................................................... GAVIN McMANUS - HMP DURHAM

Halal meat is forbidden for Sikhs

..................................................... HARPAL SINGH - HMP HUNTERCOMBE I wanted to bring to your attention that the meat being served to Sikh prisoners does not meet the requirements of our religious obligations. Sikhs are forbidden to eat halal meat and we have only just discovered that this is what the kitchen has been serving us. I have spoken with the Sikh priest, Mr Chawla, and he has advised us to write a formal complaint on behalf of all Sikh prisoners in order to bring this to the attention of the authorities and hopefully resolve the issue. But I question why the British prison system serves its prisoners only Halal meat?

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If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number and prison) to ‘Mailbag’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

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At a time when British dairy farmers and other British produce and goods are being pushed to the very brink of existence, it is galling to see the prison service continue to import all of its milk from Ireland, its yoghurts from Germany, its apples and cereal bars from France and even the meal trays from America. Surely it would make more economic sense to support local British producers and help to save our farmers from going under?

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No toiletries or medication at Foston Hall

..................................................... APRIL BROWN - HMP FOSTON HALL I am in HMP Foston Hall on recall and it has been a nightmare trying to get hold of soap and toothpaste issued by the prison. I don’t receive a lot of money as I am unable to work due to medical health reasons and the prison does not pay sick pay. It has come to the stage where I have had to get a solicitor involved to try and get toiletries issued. The staff here are lovely but budget restrictions mean we are going without basics. I feel like an animal having to beg for the means to keep myself clean. Surely NOMS have a duty to supply soap and toothpaste? This is the 21st century after all. I am also a diabetic and have not received any medication for 4 months. This is a disgrace.

Writes Prison Service Instruction (PSI) on residential services (PSI 75/2011) states that every prisoner should have access to toiletries necessary for health and cleanliness. The frequency of access to specific quantities or types of toiletries are not specified, this is for local judgement. Governors must determine what is reasonable having regard to all the individual circumstances including whether the prisoner is engaged in energetic and dirty work and any individual health, religious or other needs. As you will appreciate it is not possible to comment on the medical aspect of this enquiry without knowledge of the prisoner concerned. Editorial note: The rules on toiletries are very clear but as Ms Brown is a diabetic it is shocking that she hasn’t received any medication for 4 months. It might have been helpful if NOMS had made some discreet enquiries on her behalf. Not to put too fine a point on it, diabetes has the potential to hasten death in an individual.


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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org


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‘IMB - ‘Independent’ My Backside!’

The reality of police bail

..................................................... PAUL STELLATO - HMP WOODHILL

..................................................... JAMES HIGGINSON - HMP ALTCOURSE I write regarding the so-called ‘Independent’ Monitoring Board (IMB). Where do they find these ‘impartial’ board members? Are they retired relatives of prison staff or members of the governor’s golf club? My first experience was when I received an adjudication for threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour. I asked for the CCTV of the incident to be downloaded in order to show that the incident lasted only 5 seconds. The governor prevaricated and by the time the decision was made the tape had already been (conveniently) wiped. When I complained about this to the IMB member I was told ‘The governor is a nice man, but you don’t want to carry on upsetting him’! So I take it they were having tea with the governor that night. The second incident is basically down to their lack of knowledge about what’s going on in the prison. A prisoner died, possibly from drug use, and a week later the IMB were giving a talk on how they could help prisoners in certain situations and someone mentioned about the lad dying and the IMB did not have a clue about the incident! So what the hell are they ‘monitoring’? The next incident was when I asked an IMB member if she could look into why my medication was missed and I was handed a pamphlet stating that the IMB do not get involved in matters of medical prescriptions and so on. So, seriously, what use are these people?

Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number and prison) to ‘Mailbag’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

I’ve read Anna Racoon’s article on police bail (November issue) and I am dismayed that she presents no cogent argument against police bail apart from the fact that the suspect is left in ‘limbo’ for so long. In reality there are various reasons why the police keep people on bail for so long, one being when they absolutely know there is no evidence but they want to hurt you anyway. Police bail is used as a weapon, particularly against those with previous convictions or people who the police believe are ‘at it’. The longer you are on bail the more likely it is that you will commit some sort of offence, thus aggravating your charge as it was committed whilst on police bail. Another weapon they use is the seizure of your property which, in some cases, can be essentials such as clothing, phones, computers, electrical goods and anything else they think might cause you aggravation. You do not get this property back until your police bail ends. I would also like to mention that the police sometimes put conditions on police bail and make people believe that if they breach these conditions there will be consequences - in reality there is no power to detain for breaching police bail conditions unless a charge for the original offence is imminent. There are no powers to detain if a charge is pending. Another reason for long police bail is so that police can inform the alleged victim that someone is currently on bail for the alleged crime and it looks as though they are actually doing something.

San Quinten Prison USA

Hello from across the pond

....................................................................................................... ORLANDO ROMERO JR - DEATH ROW, SAN QUENTIN Sending all my best wishes and strength to those on the inside, and support to those who care for them on the outside. There is a kind British lady who comes to visit one of the men on my tier, and she often mails him a copy of Inside Time newspaper, which he then shares with me. I am so impressed with your honesty about prison life and its hardships, tragedies and even victories, so I’ve decided to write in the hope that we can share some common bonds from across the world. In the 20 years that I’ve been awaiting my appeals to the courts to be read, I’ve come to find out how important reaching out beyond these walls is. It is the friends who have shown me true support in ways that I thought would never be felt again after my family had stopped writing. Only men who have been locked in small cages and who have been cut off from life, love and even light itself can understand the depths of sadness and isolation that a human being can feel. The soul can be crushed down to a dim candle that wanes and flickers for breath during those moments, and it never leaves the soul. But true bonds of friendship have slowly brought these souls back to life. Reading your newspaper I was amazed at the honesty from prisoners and their hardships that is allowed to be heard! The censors at this prison too often screen out bad press and straight out lie about their own ineptitude when an inmate is harmed, or commits suicide. It’s up to us to keep the vigil on each other, while respecting each other’s space. Most of us know this, but so many still suffer through growing pains that they often cannot pull themselves out of. Part of my own spirit has urged me to give my two cents worth because in 20 years here I’ve known the worst of prison life, riots, scrapes and set-ups from cops, and walked through the flames with, and away from gang life, but because I chose love, compassion, understanding and goodness going forward. I send my shout outs to those who have walked with me from beyond these walls. Here in the States and those around the world who have written, especially the amazing friends I’ve come to know and love from England. Thank you. Whether or not I am executed before my prayers are answered through appeal, I will keep you all in my thoughts and welcome my new British friends, the fight continues! Hold fast the light!

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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number and prison) to ‘Mailbag’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

Spreading the Christmas cheer




..................................................... JONATHAN KING FORMER PRISONER AND TV PRESENTER/ RECORD PRODUCER

The Christmas carol with a difference

........................................................................................................ ALAN LITTLER - HMP BURE Love it or hate it, Christmas is almost upon us and soon we will be eating cheap Christmas pudding and singing carols. Most Christmas carols have a hidden meaning but there is one that has always confused me. The Twelve Days of Christmas talks of ‘French hens’, ‘pipers piping’ and ‘a partridge in a pear tree’ amongst other things. Nothing at all to do with Christmas? Well, I recently found out it actually is! And this is the story... From 1558-1829 Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practise their faith openly, so some clever lady or gent of the era came up with this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. The song has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the church. Each element of the carol was written to act as a code for the children to remember a religious reality. 1) The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ; 2) Two turtle doves were the old and new testaments of the bible; 3) Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love; 4) The four calling birds were the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John); 5) The five gold rings recalled The Torah of Law (the first 5 books of the old testament); 6) The six geese a laying stood for the six days of creation; 7) The seven swans a swimming stood for the sevenfold gifts of the holy spirit; 8) The eight maids a milking were the eight beatitudes; 9) The nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the holy spirit; 10) The ten lords a leaping were the ten commandments; 11) The eleven pipers piping were the eleven faithful disciples; 12) The twelve drummers drumming stood for the twelve points of belief in the apostles creed. So, there you have it, the Twelve Days of Christmas explained. A very merry Christmas to you all!



As the asset recovery and confiscation arm of Rahman Ravelli Solicitors, a leading nationwide niche practice, ARC offers expertise, proactive and forceful representation together with a track record of success.


It must be harder than ever for kitchen and food providers to try to improve Christmas meals too and I bet the poor Chaplains, never respected enough by the likes of Ministers, battle to look after their flock, the vast majority of whom belong to other faiths or no faith at all. And at the risk of sounding sanctimonious - my way of getting through the season was trying to help others. The one absolutely certain thing is that - gentle reader - there are many far worse off than you in there, as you read this. You’d be astonished by how positive assisting the less fortunate can be. A kind word to that fellow prisoner everyone hates, including you, can bring pleasure to you as well as to them. If you’ve been lucky enough to have friends and family stand by you, as I did, think of those whose nearest and dearest deserted them. The most vital talent in prison is the ability to communicate. And the most common problem with prisoners is an inability to speak or, worse, listen. That silent, quiet, morose person is the one who most needs help, though he or she will never admit it. And the thugs and bullies - frightened souls hiding in plain sight. Going out of your way to understand them, trust them and get them to trust you is the greatest gift you could give anyone this year. Helping others is immensely satisfying and pleasurable. So try to spread a little happiness this season. You’ll be amazed by how great that makes you feel. You’ll go to sleep with a massive smile on your face.

As an example, we sucessfully challanged one of the UK’s largest ever confiscation orders following years of fighting; reducing the relevant amounts by over £10 million. In recent years, our unique approach has helped our clients retain assets worth tens of millions of pounds. Responding tactically to a Prosecutor’s ‘Statement of Information’ is the way to strike back in the assets battle. In our experience, these documents are vital in setting the scene and letting the other side know that that a battle can be expected Hidden assets, tainted gifts, rights of spouses, third parties, business interests, reciever’s costs; these are among the multitude of issues that can arise in modern confiscation litigation. In fact, each one of these areas requires specialist expertise, skil and knowledge. In our experience, the Crown will often assert that their demands are harsh but will then say that it is because POCA is ‘draconian’. Too often this is accepted. The truth is that these issues can be fought, either with good case law, solid factual argument, good negotiation skills or a combination of all three. That approach though requires work, dedication expertise and belief. Whther it is under POCA 2002, the CJA 1988 or the DTA 1994, and whether it involves restraint or confiscation orders, applications to vary or certificates of inadequacy, our POCA Department can assist.

ARC Law, Rahman Ravelli Solicitors, Roma House, 59 Pellon Lane, Halifax HX1 5BE Telephone: 01422 346666

Christmas is the worst time of year to be locked up in prison, especially if you’ve got family, as you miss them even more than usual. Add to that the inevitable increase in lockup hours, with the fewer staff needing time off themselves, and the newly Grayling-ed lack of books and reading matter and punishments like removal of TV sets, and December can be bloody awful.

Happy Christmas and New Year - and enjoy the enormous amount of noise you’ll hear at exactly midnight on Dec 31st - one of the secret, guilty pleasures of life in prison, unless you’re not expecting it!.

Please contact us for a no obligation assesment. Offices in Halifax & London with nationwide coverage


The Daily Express are investigating serious allegations of sexual abuse at the former St. Peter’s approved school in Gainford. If you were were a victim of abuse at the hands of staff there or at any other approved school run by the Catholic Church in the north of England please get in touch. Joe Lewis, Daily Express, Northern and Shell Building, 10 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6EN 07775 034128 [email protected]

Inside Time December 1990

Approaching our 25th year In December 1990 the first issue of Time (later to become Inside Time) was despatched to all prisons and YOI’s in the United Kingdom. The quarterly, eight page, newspaper was launched in the House of Commons and broadcast on BBC Breakfast from Grendon Prison. Ironically, the inspiration for a national newspaper for prisoners came from the Woolf Inquiry into the Strangeway Prison Riots that erupted in April 1990. Both Lord Woolf and the late Judge Stephen Tumin concluded that prisoners had inadequate opportunities to air their grievances. For that reason, from the very first issue, the Newspaper adopted the mission: ‘a voice for prisoners’. Today, Inside Time is published monthly, with 56 pages and receives some 10,000 items of communication each year from prisoners, detainees and patients in Special Hospitals and their families. Inside Time also provides a website that has more than 400,000 unique visitors each month. .................. Inside Time is a ‘not for profit’ organisation, run under the auspices of the New Bridge Foundation.


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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org were made to help prisoners settle down, for what were often very long stays at the prison.


Security arrangements were sophisticated but, Inspectors said, Wakefield felt less oppressive in many respects than other similar prisons with a ‘decent and exceptionally well maintained’ environment; but F wing, the segregation and CSC unit, remained poor.

Nick Hardwick - HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Inside Time highlights areas of good and bad practice, along with a summary of prisoner survey responses at HMPs Elmley and Wakefield. These extracts are taken from the most recent Reports published by HM Inspectorate of Prisons. At the time of this inspection HMP Elmley held 1,252 men, well above its CNA of 985; Nick Hardwick says ‘it needed to stabilise and to recruit more staff as a matter of urgency’. Inspectors found that fights and assaults had risen 60% in a year and in the previous 11 months there had been 11 occasions when prisoners refused to return to cells. Self-harm incidents had increased and there had been five self-inflicted deaths in two years.

HMP Elmley

Long prison holding remand & convicted adults and young adults Managed by HMPS CNA: 985 / Population: 1252 Unannounced Full Inspection: 2-13 June 2014 Published: 12 November 2014 Last inspection: March 2012

‘Very serious concerns’

6% Aged under 21 15% Number of foreign nationals 6% Number on recall 22% Lost property on arrival 57% Treated well in Reception 44% Had legal letters opened 74% Food is bad or very bad 46% Don’t know who IMB are 67% Treated with respect by staff 56% Number who have felt unsafe 41% Victimised by staff 75% Difficult to see dentist 40% Easy to get drugs 27% Not engaged in any purposeful activities 61% Less than 4 hours out of cell

The physical condition of the prison was poor, 200 prisoners were held three to a cell designed for two and many spent too long locked in cells - 61% of prisoners say they have less than 4 hours a day out of their cells. The Offender Management Unit was overwhelmed, staff received no training or supervision, with 50% vacancies and staff assigned to other posts, there was a backlog of 271 risk assessments. Visiting times were disrupted by staff shortages and there was ‘little recognition of the difficulties faced by visitors’. 40% of prisoners said it was easy to get drugs and Inspectors said; ‘the management of medicines was very poor, creating risks of prisoners receiving the wrong dose at the wrong time and of the trading or theft of prescribed medicines.’ Late News: A prisoner took his own life the day this report was published and there was a six hour riot a week later.

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HMP Wakefield

‘A high-security prison making progress’

Nationwide Service

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A useful range of offending behaviour programmes were offered, although inevitably demand for these outstripped supply and many men complained about long waits for a course.

20.5% Aged over 60 7.2% Number of foreign nationals 1% Number on recall 21% Lost property on arrival 71% Treated well in Reception 52% Had legal letters opened 57% Food is bad or very bad 26% Don’t know who IMB are 85% Treated with respect by staff 57% Number who have felt unsafe 52% Victimised by staff 46% Difficult to see dentist 17% Easy to get drugs 26% Not engaged in any purposeful activities 30% Less than 4 hours out of cell HMP Wakefield is one of eight high security prisons, approximately 70% of the population are life or indeterminate sentence prisoners. This inspection found that Wakefield had made progress in developing a ‘decent and constructive staff culture’, and prisoner/staff relationships were described as ‘excellent’. Levels of violence, while not high, had increased, particularly assaults against staff. Casework to support those at risk of self-harm was generally well managed. Processes to support prisoners on arrival were reasonably good and efforts

Recently published HMCIP reports Altcourse - September 2014, Chelmsford - September 2014, Cookham Wood October 2014, Doncaster - August 2014 Elmley - November 2014, Glen Parva - August 2014, Guernsey - November 2014, Hewell - September 2014, Hindley - August 2014, Isis - August 2014, North Sea Camp - November 2014, Parc Juvenile Unit - August 2014, Peterborough October 2014, Preston - August 2014, Springhill - September 2014, Swaleside - September 2014, Swinfen Hall November 2014, Wakefield - November 2014, Wormwood Scrubs - September 2014, Wymott - October 2014 Copies of the most recent report for your prison are available in the library. New address for HMCIP Victory House, 6th floor, 30-34 Kingsway London WC2B 6EX

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The provision of work and activities to keep men purposefully engaged ‘was not impressive’. While time out of cell for the majority was reasonable, ‘too many men were locked in cells during the working day, which largely reflected the significant shortage of activity places available’: the education, creative and arts-based activities were in ‘need of improvement’.

Male Cat A/B high security Managed by HMPS CNA: 750 / Population: 740 Unannounced Full Inspection: 30 June - 11 July 2014 Published: 4 November 2014 Last inspection: May 2012

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Crackdown on violence in prisons A new agreement has been made by the CPS and ACPO (a private group for senior police) which will try to ensure that any prisoners who attack staff are prosecuted. Any sentences passed are likely to be added to the end of a sentence. A new Serious Crime Bill will also see the prosecution of prisoners found in possession of knives and other offensive weapons. Jeremy Wright, the Attorney General said; ‘This protocol will make it clear that prosecution should usually follow when prisoners assault hard-working prison staff.’

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Juries need forensics lessons, warn judges Judges are calling for controls on the use of science in criminal courts, amid concerns that flawed DNA evidence has been used to secure murder and rape convictions in the past year. Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice, said that forensic evidence needed to meet approved standards if juries were not to reach “perverse decisions” that resulted in miscarriages of justice. His remarks come after an admission by the Home Office in September that courts have been increasingly relying on qualitative assessments of complex DNA evidence rather than robust statistics, which it said risked juries being misled about the strength of the prosecution case. Delivering the Criminal Bar Association’s Kalisher lecture in London in October, the most senior judge in England and Wales highlighted the possibility that murderers and rapists may now have grounds to appeal. In many serious cases, the “credibility of the criminal justice system depends on the quality of the science underpinning the forensic evidence”, he said. Lord Thomas is calling for the government’s forensic science regulator to be given powers to make scientific experts comply with quality standards. He is backed by Lord Woolf, a

fisher meredith

previous Lord Chief Justice, who agrees that statutory regulation is needed to avoid problematic evidence creeping into court. “What is required is to raise the standards of experts to ensure their evidence is objective and comprehensible”, Lord Woolf said. Lord Thomas wants “primers” - plain English explanations - in forensic science to be given to jurors to help them to understand “the basics” so they can focus on the evidence before them. There was a challenge for judges and lawyers to “manage the presentation and testing of forensic evidence in such a way as to avoid fatally undermining confidence”, he said. As forensic science becomes more complex, there is a risk of “testing the science, rather than the evidence, in front of a jury”, he added. “This risks undermining juries’ and public confidence in forensic science, with highly undesirable consequences, resulting either in less use of forensic evidence, or less use of juries,” he said. Professor Peter Gill, a forensic scientist at the University of Oslo, welcomed the judges’ intervention. “At last there is a growing recognition that the use of ‘subjective reporting’ by forensic scientists is an unacceptable practice that is prosecution based,” he said.

There were 3,427 assaults on staff in the 12 months to June 2014, 25% were referred to the police, but the majority were dealt with by adjudication. There are no numbers for the number of assaults on prisoners by staff nor mention of whether these will be automatically prosecuted: a recent inspection report on HMP Hewell said that serious allegations against staff were poorly investigated, if at all.

Prison riot acquittals Eleven men, appearing in court accused of prison mutiny at HMP High Down in October 2013, have been found not guilty after the jury agreed that they were just demonstrating against lack of food and poor conditions rather than trying to ‘overthrow lawful authority’. During the trial the jury heard about damning reports from the prisons IMB: and the prison governor, giving evidence, told the court that the government had admitted it had ‘got it wrong’. They also heard of ‘serious concerns’ of prison inspectors who had visited the prison the month before the disturbance. Inside Time’s Noel Smith said; ‘The interesting thing for me is about the prison using a ‘pyrotechnic’ to startle the men. This is a stun-grenade, known to the SAS as a ‘flashbang’, and, as far as I know, has never been used in prisons before’. The Howard League commented; ‘Prisons are in meltdown. It is unfortunate that so much money has been spent on this ultimately failed case when there are prisons across England and Wales crying out for more staff and resources’.

The things people say…

“What we know from Syria is that Assad, without any detection from the West, was manufacturing chemical weapons. We only discovered this when he used them.” Tony Blair speaking about the manufacture of chemical weapons in Syria. At least a decade before the first Gulf War the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) assessed Syria as possessing chemical weapons, a recurring theme in JIC reports during the period 1994-1999. The issue was not whether President Assad of Syria had them but when and how he might use them. Many ask whether Mr Blair read the intelligence reports provided to him or is he now suffering from some sort of prime ministerial false memory syndrome.

Kirkham prison has most illegal mobiles in England and Wales HMP Kirkham has the dubious record of having the most mobiles discovered last year according to a Parliamentary Question. With 488 mobile phones and SIM cards, nearly double the number of mobiles were found at Kirkham than any other prison in England and Wales. The Open Prison holds 562 prisoners. Although it is illegal to have a mobile phone in a prison, prisoners who work outside are sometimes required to have a mobile so they can keep in touch with their prison. In 2013, 7,451 mobile phones and SIM cards were confiscated in prisons in England and Wales.

Prison officers listened to prisoners’ phone calls to MPs and Lawyers Members of the Association of Prison Lawyers

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Prison officers have secretly recorded and listened in to confidential phone calls between more than 30 MPs and prisoners,

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the House of Commons (pictured). In a statement to the Commons, Chris Grayling apologised for the secret monitoring of calls from prisoners to MPs and Lawyers going back to 2006. He said that among the calls monitored was one to Simon Hughes, the Justice Minister, and others to the office of Jack Straw when he was Justice Secretary. In his statement to the Commons Mr Grayling said he had asked the Chief Inspector of Prisons to investigate the scale and extent of the scandal.



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The things people say…

© shefkate - Fotolia

6 November 2014

Books for Prisoners: Prisoners to be allowed more than 12 books in their cells The Howard League ‘Books for Prisoners’ campaign has won an important victory as the Ministry of Justice agreed to increase the number of books that prisoners can keep in their cells. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has sent an “urgent” policy update to prison governors, granting them permission to allow prisoners to hold more than 12 books at a time. The rule change, which has been introduced “with immediate effect”, follows months of campaigning. Tens of thousands of people, including dozens of leading writers and the Prison Governors’ Association, have called on the government to review restrictions which prevent families and friends sending books and other essentials to prisoners. ‘Books for Prisoners’ has received media coverage across the world and the government’s stance has been condemned by international writers and former prisoners of conscience including Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. An equivalent campaign has been launched in Russia. The NOMS policy update, dated 7 November,

states: “Given the particularly important role books can play in rehabilitation, with immediate effect, Governors may exercise a discretion to allow prisoners to have more than 12 books in possession where they are below their overall volumetric control limit. This amendment applies to books only.” The ban on sending books and other essentials into prisons remains in place, however, and the Books for Prisoners campaign will continue until the policy has been fully reversed. Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “This is an important victory for our campaign. It is encouraging that the government has recognised the important role that books can play in rehabilitation. “But the campaign does not stop here. Petty and counter-productive restrictions on sending books and other essentials to prisoners remain in place, and calls for the Ministry of Justice to fully reverse its policy are only getting louder against a backdrop of ever more overcrowding, growing unrest and an alarming rise in the number of suicides behind bars.”

‘Treat prisoners as human beings, not criminals’ ...Continued from front page How we go about reaching our goals and financial targets is the responsibility of each head of service to decide upon. That gives us a great deal of freedom both in terms of how we organize ourselves, and the strategies we adopt to do our work. “Most importantly it provides a clear division of labour between the political level and the public administration. In policy areas where there are sometimes very strong public opinions, this has often proven to be beneficial in terms of sustainability, and our ability over time to stick to the strategies we believe in.” The annual Longford Lecture was established in 2003 to continue the work of the

Labour Cabinet Minister and lifelong prison reformer, Lord Longford. Sponsored by The Daily Telegraph, previous speakers have included Bianca Jagger, Will Self and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Though there were MPs and officials from the Ministry of Justice and NOMS in the audience, Oberg was careful not to prescribe solutions for the British prison system. “I will not claim that the way we do things in Sweden is the one and only solution to the vast challenges we all face in the area of prison and probation. What I can say is that we believe that our model works for us, and that it has served us well for a long time.” Rachel Billington pages 18-19

Chris Grayling’s punitive approach not based in evidence, says Hughes

‘There was nothing wrong with the Soviet Union’s pact with Hitler’s Nazi Germany’

In an interview with The Independent, Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem Justice Minister, criticised his Tory boss Chris Grayling, for saying that “in many cases prison works”. He disputed the Justice Secretary’s claim that there is “no crisis” in overcrowded jails and admitted he was worried about the number of suicides and assaults. Mr Hughes insisted: “For a large number of people, prison hasn’t worked and isn’t working.”

Mr Putin would seem to have changed his mind since his speech in Gdansk, Poland, on 1st September 2009, marking the 70th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Poland. At that time he said:

Accusing the Tories of adopting “sticking plaster solutions”, Mr Hughes said the “revolving door” in which criminals often return to jail after their release meant more crimes and more victims. “This way madness lies,” he declared. “It is a complete dead end.” He said: “By head of population, Britain has the highest prison population in Europe, apart from Azerbaijan and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.” The Lib Dem Minister said “The crisis in the prisons is not a lack of capacity. It is that there are too many people in there who ought not to be in there - sometimes because they are mentally ill. That is one of the causes of the assaults and the pressures.” He described the number of suicides in custody, now running at more than six a month, as “really worrying”. Mr Hughes said: “My analysis is that the solution is not a sticking plaster - a few extra people recruited here, or a better regime there. It is reducing significantly the number of people in our prisons so they have time to do the education, training, all the productive things that make rehabilitation much more likely to succeed.” It costs £35,000 a year to keep someone in jail. He admitted his plan to halve the population would not halve the £3.3bn prisons budget but insisted it would yield significant savings because the alternatives were cheaper.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia made this statement at a meeting with young historians in Moscow, reported in The Daily Telegraph on 6th November 2014.

‘All attempts to appease the Nazis between 1934 and 1939 through various agreements and pacts were morally unacceptable and politically senseless, harmful and dangerous … we must admit these mistakes’ and, writing in the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborzca, ‘Without any doubt, there is reason to condemn the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact concluded in 1939 … I should like to remind you that our country’s Parliament unambiguously assessed the immorality of the MolotovRibbentrop Pact.’ The terms of this Pact enabled Stalin to invade and annex the eastern provinces of Poland on 17th September 1939- and to murder nearly 22,000 Poles (largely Polish army officers and the cultural elite) in the forests of Katyn, while allowing a free hand to the Nazis who had invaded Poland from the west sixteen days previously, on 1st September, to kill some 5.8 million Polish citizens, of whom somewhat over half - three million - were Jews, whose centuries-old community was virtually annihilated. Secret protocols of the Pact in which the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany agreed to divide up Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Poland into ‘spheres of influence’ were officially denied by the Kremlin until 1989. The question is: does Mr Putin really now think, five years after he had himself declared the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to have been ‘immoral’ that there was, after all, ‘nothing wrong’ about it?

50 prisons ‘suffer staff shortages’ More than 50 prisons have an “alarming” and “potentially disastrous” shortage of prison officers. There is a deficit of more than 650 prison officers in the UK, promoting fears that some prisons may have too few staff to cope with the number of prisoners. Having cut the number of staff by 41 percent since 2010 the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling has been forced to try to re hire 2000 officers who had been offered voluntary redundancy at an estimated average cost of £35,000 per officer.


Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Children locked in solitary for months



Teenagers are being kept in virtual solitary confinement in young offender institutions for more than two months. Inspections of institutions show that children are put in “segregation units” for up to 77 days. During this time they are kept in their cells for most of the day and cannot associate with other prisoners.

In Poland a young impressionable child asks her mother if she can walk instead.

© prisonimage.org

Parenting in prison There are calls for an overhaul of the way the Prison Service decides whether or not mothers should be separated from their babies, after new figures showed that only 40 percent are allowed to stay together. A Freedom of Information request showed that in the last financial year there were 210 applications from either pregnant prisoners or those with infants aged up to 18 months for a place in one of the dwindling number of

HMP Styal

mother and baby units. Only 80 requests were granted. For many of the 40 percent of applications who are referred a place, the mother and child separation means that the child will go into care - despite the recognised impact this has on the child and the greater risk of the mother self-harming, not to mention the huge cost to society in general. Now that legal aid is no longer available for women who face forcible separation from their baby at birth, prisons can act without liability and let others deal with the consequences.

No country imprisons more women than the USA Top 10 countries with the largest number of female prisoners 2013

Susan Berelowitz, Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England (pictured), who has inspected a number of the units, said it was routinely being used as a punishment - a practice banned by the Youth Justice Board. Berelowitz said those in the units were often kept in their cells alone for 22 hours or more. She said they were allowed out to exercise alone for 30 minutes and for a 15-minute wash. “It is no way for a human being to live - especially not children.” In January 2012, Lord McNally, then the Justice Minister, said young people could be confined for a maximum of 16 days. However, Berelowitz said she had met boys who had been kept in solitary confinement for months. Children’s charities blamed staffing shortages. Sir Alan Beith MP, Chairman of the Justice Select Committee, warned that the practice could make offenders more unstable and lead them to self-harm.“It’s quite unacceptable that young people should be held in what is in effect solitary confinement for long periods,” he said, adding that his committee would take up the matter with the Youth Justice Board. Government figures showed that in the 12 months to September, children spent a total of 7,970 days in segregation across the country, an average of more than 10 days for every child in a Young Offenders Institution.

The United States has more female prisoners than China, Russia and India combined. According to the International Centre for Prison Studies, the U.S. has 201,200 female prisoners, 8.8 percent of its total prison population. China comes a very distant second with 84,600 female prisoners while Russia is in third place with 59,000. 625,000 women and girls are being held in penal institutions worldwide and the female prison population is rising on all five continents. A large proportion of women in prison in England and Wales (3,929 in 2014) are drug dependent - 54% female remand prisoners were addicted to drugs in the year prior to being in prison. There is a parallel situation in the USA. Women are more than 50% more likely to be imprisoned for a drug crime than men (25.7% vs 17.2%). The obvious need is to prioritise treating women drug users rather than criminalising and imprisoning them.

1,000 a day are denied legal help, says top QC Britain is living through the “biggest sustained onslaught on the access to justice” it has ever faced, the head of the Bar Council warns. The Government’s cuts to the legal aid scheme have denied help to more than 400,000 people a year, or more than 1,000 every day, Nicholas Lavender QC says. “Effective advocacy lies at the heart of an all adversarial criminal justice system” he added.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Latvia pre-school children are learning the importance of multi-tasking.

And in Switzerland Dignitas launches a new service for its client’s pets.

FIFA’s Sepp Blater congratulates Russia for successfully winning the World Cup in 2018 by 3 goals to nil in the final.

MoJ pursues legal costs from man who spent 17 lost years in prison The government is pursuing a man whose conviction was quashed at the end of last year as a result of DNA evidence for legal costs over his attempts to win compensation for 17 years in prison. Victor Nealon was convicted of attempted rape in 1997 outside a nightclub in Redditch. The evidence used to secure his conviction was a disputed ID parade and a weakened alibi. His conviction was quashed last December after DNA pointed to another man as the perpetrator. Not only has Victor Nealon been refused permission to judicially review the decision of Chris Grayling to turn down his application for compensation, but the government is pursuing a man who was released with just £46 to his name and nowhere to stay for £2,500 of legal costs. The former postman, now 53

years-old, spent his first night of freedom sleeping on the streets of Birmingham. In Chris Grayling’s new grounds for resisting the claim, it was asserted that the DNA analysis ‘plainly did not show beyond reasonable doubt that the claimant did not commit the offence… .’ Solicitor Mr Newby, who is to appeal the Judicial Review ruling, told Private Eye: “The conduct of the Secretary of State in seeking to avoid payment and punish financially Victor Nealon remains a matter of grave concern which is out of touch with the weight of public opinion. Surely the Secretary of State must realise that, having spent 17 years proving his innocence, Victor will not be giving up his rightful claim for compensation at the first setback.”



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STRANGE BUT TRUE l “Over the years, British politicians have clashed with EU officials on everything from the size of bankers’ bonuses to how knobbly a carrot can be before it no longer counts as a vegetable,” said Paddy Ashdown in the FT. But a proposal from Brussels - on a subject far more fundamental than most - was passed without a murmur of disagreement from Whitehall: that the best way of discouraging refugees from Africa was ‘to let them drown’. For the past 12 months, Italian navy ships have scoured the Mediterranean, plucking - on average - 400 people a day from unseaworthy vessels. But no longer: amid claims that by rescuing migrants it is only encouraging more to come, Italy has decided it is no longer willing to bear the $9m-a-month cost of the Mare Nostrum operation. So it is being scrapped, and replaced by the cheaper Operation Triton, run by the EU’s border agency. It will patrol EU waters, but migrants in trouble out at sea will be left to drown. l A Polish woman woke up in a morgue, 11 hours after she’d been pronounced dead. The 91 year-old was in cold storage when she began moving around in her body bag. Workers unzipped it, and found Janina Kolkiewicz a bit confused, but otherwise in good health. She was sent home, where she asked for a bowl of hot soup and some pancakes to warm herself up. “I was sure she was dead,” her doctor was quoted as saying. l Most children, over the generations,

have sat on Santa Clause’s knee. Now officials in Dundee - panicked by rules on child protection - no longer allow children any contact with Father Christmas.

Visits to Santa’s grotto have been replaced by a live link via Skype. Children are gathered in groups of ten and can talk to Santa on the computer. Health and Safety officials have explained that some children are frightened of Father Christmas! l Ofsted inspectors marked down Middle Rasen Primary School in Lincolnshire for failing to give its pupils ‘first-hand experience of the diverse make-up of modern British society’ and that pupils should be made to interact ‘with counterparts from different backgrounds’. In other words, the Schools pupils were far too white and far too English - exactly like the town itself and the families from whence they come. And another school in Reading was told by the Inspectors that it ought to invite a Muslim cleric to take assemblies. It’s a Christian school. l A supermarket chain has issued a press release saying that one in six British households now celebrate the American Thanksgiving Festival on November 27.

Actually they don’t. It’s simply an attempt to flog frozen Turkeys. Another story claimed that many families were planning to buy not one but two Christmas trees this year. Actually, they aren’t. This piece of ‘news’ was issued by tree growers!


Lewis Hamilton wins the Formula 1 Championship and embraces the Union Jack flag. Taxpayers claim they would be more inclined to embrace his victory if he hadn’t chosen to live in Monaco in order to avoid paying income tax in Britain. l Some celebrities are busy raising money to fight the Ebola epidemic in Africa but others have never heard of it. While working the red carpet at a recent music awards ceremony, Amy Childs (pictured) - the former ‘celebrity’ of The Only Way is Essex - was asked what she thought about the spread of Ebola. “What?” asked the perplexed beautician, before apparently guessing that it must be a reference to a new pop band. I might be a big fan after tonight,” she trilled. “I think it will be absolutely amazing.” l 50%: the proportion of prison sentences served under new laws introduced during the last decade, which the News of the World called ‘Lunacy’, ‘Ridiculous’ and a ‘Mockery of Justice’. 25%: the proportion of an 18 months prison sentence served by former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson.

Easy Jet pioneer a faster way of getting passengers off the plane even faster.

There is growing scientific evidence that eating too much spinach is bad for you.



Helping victims rebuild their lives since 1994. Helping you achieve justice for the abuse you suffered. We have been helping abuse victims claim their legal rights for over 15 years. The law allows people to make claims for compensation even if the abuse they suffered took place many years ago. We also deal with cases against children’s homes, other institutions and social services for lack of care.

Our dedicated team of specialist, legal experts have a proven track record in handling child abuse claims and can help you if you have been the victim of sexual, physical or emotional abuse in childhood. In 2013 we secured nearly three quarters of a million pounds in compensation for our clients. Speak to one of our specialist male or female solicitors in complete confidence. • Prison visits • Legal Aid available • Complete confidentiality

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Of Britons believe in ghosts.

Monthly cost of rent, bills and food for a graduate on an unpaid internship in London.

Of the people who have ever lived are alive today.

© erectus - Fotolia

© Sven Bähren - Fotolia

1,996 Calories in the ‘Double Donut’ burger - two beef-burgers with cheese and bacon between two glazed doughnuts.


Increased risk of breast cancer if a woman goes up one skirt size every 10 years between the ages of 25 and 84.


Number of times Eric Joyce MP has been arrested in three years. The latest was on suspicion of assault, which he denies. © Sergey Nivens - Fotolia

© onepony - Fotolia


Number of Twitter followers of Wayne Rooney, the site’s most popular British athlete.



Price of limited-edition pair of socks made from vicufia wool on sale at Selfridges.


700 years

Age of a virus resurrected by scientists from frozen caribou faeces - suggesting global warming could resurrect ancient viruses. © Profotokris - Fotolia


Increase in likelihood that a man will die from dementia for every 3in he lacks in height.

The total value of the unused herbs and spices in Britain’s kitchen cupboards.


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m Do you know...? l Argentina has called on Britain to close its military base in the Falklands, insisting that there is “absolutely no chance of another invasion from the mainland”. The Buenos Aires special secretary for the Falklands said Britain should follow its withdrawal from Afghanistan by leaving the South Atlantic territory. l Facebook now has as many users as there are people in China. The social network giant announced the statistic as it revealed that profits nearly doubled to more than $1bn. The number of users checking into Facebook at least once a month has risen by 14% to 1.35bn in the third quarter. However, it warned that spending will increase sharply next year and its revenue growth will slow in the fourth quarter. l According to British Geological Survey, the largest known British earthquake happened near the Dogger Bank in 1931, with a magnitude of 6.1. Fortunately, it was 60 miles offshore but was still powerful enough to cause damage to buildings on the east coast of England.

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R&D, squeezed into the list at 49. Virgin and BP, which made the cut last year, had dropped out. Tech firms dominated the top 10 of the chart, which was put together by US-based Boston Consulting Group. l The Home Office has still not resolved some 29,000 asylum applications dating back to at least 2007, of which 11,000 have not even received an initial decision on their claim. l The World Economic Forum ranked Britain 26th in the world - below Rwanda and Moldova in a gender equality league table. l 14% of British 18 to 24 year-olds and 12% of 25 to 34 year-olds have “warm feelings” towards Islamic State (Isis) - compared to 5% of all British adults and 1% of over-65s. l A single Dutch fishing boat picked up a quarter of England’s fishing quota this year. The Cornelis Vrolijk, which operates out of Hull under a British flag, has been allocated 23% of the English quota, or 6% of the British quota. The small fishing boats that provide 80% of off-shore fishing jobs hold 4% of the quota between them.

l Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the resurrected World Trade Center is again opening for business. The skyscraper - at 1,775ft (541m) the tallest building in the US - is the centrepiece of the site where the Twin Towers once stood. Today, about 60,000 more residents now live in Lower Manhattan - three times more than before 9/11.

missing out on experiencing life in the workplace.

l Fifty years of drink-drive messages in the UK have dramatically changed the public’s attitude, with nearly all drivers saying they would be ashamed to be caught over the limit, according to a survey. But the Government’s THINK! campaign found young people were seven times more likely to think it acceptable than 55 to 64-year-olds. Seven per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds said drinkdriving was still okay, compared with just 1% of their elder peers.

l Simon Cowell, 55, has been named the top-earning entertainment personality in America - taking almost £60m in just one year. Forbes puts The X Factor judge at the top of the list of big-earners for estimated earnings for the 12 months up to June 2014. Forbes said that the TV and music mogul’s millions came from his X Factor and Got Talent earnings around the globe, as well as chart-toppers One Direction.

l The Saturday job is becoming a thing of the past for most young people as they increasingly rely on the bank of mum and dad instead. Fewer than one in six 16 and 17 year-olds now have a part-time job outside their studies and there is concern they are

l A global top 50 of the world’s most innovative companies features just one UK firm, reports the Daily Telegraph. Unilever, which spends almost £1bn a year on new inventions and employs 6,000 people in

l The Oxford English Dictionary editors have chosen vape - to smoke an e-cigarette - as its 2014 word of the year. The rise of e-cigarettes was cited as the reason for the skyrocketing use of the word - along with countless debates over the safety of using them long term.

© marinv - Fotolia

And 2000 years later: homeless at Christmas

Thousands of children across Britain are at risk of having a homeless Christmas as those living in temporary accommodation is at a three-year-high, Shelter has warned. The homelessness charity estimated that there were 90,569 children living in temporary accommodation in England, Scotland, and Wales in the second quarter of 2014, up from 76,650 in 2011.

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l For the first time, a Japanese whisky Suntory’s Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 - has been named as the best in the world. The latest edition of the World Whisky Bible does not include a single Scottish distillation in the top five and, to add insult to injury, the prize for best European whisky went to an English firm. l According to HMRC some 528 out of 800 big businesses are having their tax returns investigated.

l Contrary to myth, Michelangelo did not spend four years lying on his back painting the ceiling of the Sisteen Chapel, but was stood up on a platform he designed himself. He initially did not want to take on the project as he considered himself to be a sculptor and not a painter. l Victoria Beckham has been named Britain’s entrepreneur of the year, reports the BBC. The former Spice Girl topped a list of the UK’s top 100 entrepreneurs compiled by Management Today magazine. The journal heaped praise on Beckham for her “finely tuned business acumen” for expanding her fashion empire into a business with a £30m turnover and a staff of 100.

l Comet 67P, on to which a European spacecraft has landed, weighs 10 billion tonnes and is the size of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain. But if it were to drop into an ocean it would float as it has the density of pinewood.

• Re-categorisation • Category A Reviews • Adjudications • Home Detention Curfew • Judicial Review

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l Frank Sinatra’s My Way has been replaced by Monty Python’s Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life as the most popular song played at funerals, new research has found. A study by The Co-operative Funeralcare showed that traditional hymns, football anthems and classic pop songs top the list of the funeral music chart. The top 10 included Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, The Lord Is My Shepherd, Abide With Me, Match Of The Day theme, My Way, All Things Bright And Beautiful and Angels by Robbie Williams.

Website Comments

Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Website comments via www.insidetime.org E - Interesting comment, especially when the Governor in a recent edition praised himself for his hard work at HMP Altcourse before moving to Oakwood. In comparison to other jails it’s state of the art, it’s just the staff that can’t manage themselves let alone prisoners. The staff, very frankly couldn’t even run a bath.


E - When an inmate is being transferred All their files and, if s/he is lucky their property, are transferred with them, also information on all Visitors and people that they are in contact with; so what’s the point in having all these files if no one can be bothered looking at them. When the inmate gets transferred within a few hours all of their phone numbers go onto their phones.

Fair trials - are they still possible? Asked David Wells - Partner, Wells Burcombe Solicitors

R - I used to be a solicitor involved with civil liberties myself and then I wound up in trouble myself and ended up on trial. My experience of legal aid truly shocked me. It was perfectly clear that the barrister’s wanted to bargain rather than go to trial ( I wanted trial), then at sentencing on more than one occasion, I have come across barrister’s grossly exaggerating any likely sentence in order to try and force me to agree to the community order.

I’m not a ‘service user’

A Mailbag from HMP Norwich resident Mark Humphries A - They [Probation] apparently do neither well. My probation service fails miserably to protect the public. Seeing someone once a month for 20 minutes or less, asking them if there are any problems or issues (and ignoring any that are raised) and issuing a bus pass for the next appointment is hardly protecting the public by anyone’s definition … My OM spends most of her time whining that whatever she is asked to do is “not her job” even though the PSI’s and PSO’s make it clear that it is and even if she agrees to do something she then “forgets” to do it. There literally is no support whatsoever offered by probation for any issue.

Links to the outside

Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Nigel Newcomen wrote regarding complaints he receives about maintaining family ties S - In case anyone did not know, the first priority of the prison service is to destroy family ties. Visits are made deliberately distressful, screws are rude and ignorant towards family members, in an attempt to stop them from visiting.



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A Mailbag from a prisoner’s mother about problems getting visits at HMP Stafford G - WHY NOMS - if a prisoner already HAS people on his visits list from one establishment, WHY does the prisoner then need to add them AGAIN when shipped out to a new establishment? P-NOMIS is one system. It can be used from any establishment if the user has global access. You do not need to re-enter visitor details from one establishment to the next just because of transfer. Same goes for the pin phone.

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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org heroines if they’re fat. Indeed there is a large and wonderfully moving actress who plays Lady Percy.

Month by Month

The counter gender casting is, I begin to understand, a much wider statement about the boxes and labels under which we all, men included, suffer. So prison, Harriet explains, is a place where women are facing the ultimate exclusion. Moreover many of the themes in ‘Henry IV’ are those faced by women and men who are perceived to be the enemies of society: alcohol and drugs fuel irresponsible behaviour just as acted out by Prince Hal, the breakdown in parent-child relationship, as between the king and his son, leads to a lack of self-worth and again dangerous behaviour, gangs or factions fight against each other in Henry’s England as in ours, while mothers, like poor Lady Percy, are powerless to control their own destinies.

by Rachel Billington

© Helen Maybanks

Pictured: Elizabeth Chan (Peto), Sharon Rooney (Gadshill), Ashley McGuire (Falstaff), Karen Dunbar (Bardolph) and Cynthia Erivo (Poins) performing Shakespeare’s Henry IV.


hat is it about Shakespeare and prisons? A couple of years ago I wrote about a production by the prestigious Donmar Warehouse of ‘Julius Caesar‘ set in a woman’s prison. Now they’ve followed that up with a gripping production of ‘Henry IV’ also set in a prison, the so-called HMP Crown. Just as remarkably, it is an all female cast with the pivotal role of the king played movingly by Harriet Walter and the flamboyant parts of Prince Hal and Falstaff acted with great energy and guts (literally in Falstaff’s case) by Clare Dunne and Ashley McGuire. The production, directed, as was ‘Julius Caesar’, by Phyllida Lloyd, has been praised by just about every critic and has been running to full houses at the Donmar Warehouse. It is

a great triumph of the imagination, so successful that when I was watching both the setting and women in male roles seemed entirely natural. Leaving aside the genius of Shakespeare whose characters and ideas seem to translate into any performance language as long as it stays true to the spirit of the play, I wondered just why prisons? Why women in prison? After watching the dramatic end of the play when Prince Hal rises at last to his great inheritance, I had the chance to ask Harriet Walter my questions. She began by talking about women as actors where there are less roles available and where so often they are playing the lesser roles. Women therefore suffer from a sense of voicelessness which leads to a sense of powerlessness. They are the actors who can’t play Shakespeare and who can’t play



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These are the sort of perceptions that Phyllida Lloyd and the cast gained from their work with Clean Break, the long-established charity that uses drama to work with women in prison. Rehabilitation through drama is a route which has been proved successful over many years. It is good to think of the insights gained moving outside prison and helping to create a brilliant piece of modern theatre.

..................................................... n Over seven hundred people came along to listen to the thirteenth Longford Lecture in central London. My father, Frank Longford, would have been very proud. The lecturer was Nils Oberg, the Head of the Swedish Prison Service, and he gave a full-on talk about the role of prisons and the principles which underpin his own service. Afterwards, he expressed amazement that so many people would gather to discuss such an unpopular subject. ‘It wouldn’t happen in Sweden’, he said. So at least there’s one thing we do better in England. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about our prisons. Possibly, if Oberg had understood the full extent of the

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demoralisation of our prisons and probation service he might have been less surprised at the big and very attentive turn-out. I was sitting beside Lord Ramsbotham, who as chair with Dominic Grieve (ex Attorney-General) of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Prisons and with other notables in prison matters, such as Lord Woolf, had met Oberg the day before. Like everyone round us we gasped at some of the points Oberg made both during the lectures and at question time afterwards.

© prisonimage.org

Rachel Billington with Lord Ramsbotham Chairman Jon Snow had scribbled at few notes which highlighted the surprises: the Swedish Prison Service is constitutionally separate from the government so no politician can interfere or, let’s say, conduct, the day to day running of the service; the staff are only employed after 22 weeks training if they can honestly say that they are prepared to treat the men and women in their care as equal human beings to themselves; the staff are trained to specialise in particular areas eg violent offenders or sex offenders; the ratio of staff to prisoner is one to one - that caused the biggest gasp; education for young offenders starts when they are remanded so that a full programme can be plotted for their stay, which is often short; judges will invite the Prison Service to advise them of an appropriate sentence for criminals before making their own decision - another big gasp. Nils Oberg is a quiet, controlled man which made the impact of his speech even more devastating. In a Guardian interview with Erwin James the day before, he’d emphasised the importance of their programme for rehabilitation,

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The 2014 Longford Trust Awards The Longford Prize recognises the contribution of an individual, group or organisation working in the area of penal or social reform in showing outstanding qualities of humanity, courage, persistence, originality and commitment to diversity. The Longford Prize is awarded annually by a Prize Committee on behalf of the Trustees and Patrons of the Longford Trust. It is sponsored by The Daily Telegraph newspaper and organised in association with the Prison Reform Trust. Winner

Highly Commended

The Forgiveness Project

Product of Prison

© prisonimage.org

Capacity audience at the 2014 Longford Lecture, Church House, Westminster saying ‘Prison is not for punishment.’ Director of the Prison Reform Trust, Juliet Lyons, who had escorted him to interviews with the team at the Treasury looking into prison finance, told me that his clear description of the Swedish prison approach had made a very good impression. I hope so. The Longford Trust also gives awards and runs a scholarship service for ex-prisoners who want to study at university. Listening to the citation for the awards and hearing some of the scholars who were introduced on stage by Longford Trust director Peter Stanford, talk about their own changed lives and the role of the mentors who help them, brought home how much we

rely on the voluntary sector in this country. Longford mentors are not paid a penny for their services but willingly give up time for men and women they have never met before. All the mentors say that the process and the success of their mentees gives them great satisfaction. At the end of the evening my brother, Chairman of the Trust Kevin Pakenham, made an appeal for donations in buckets by the door of the hall. People were generous, putting in more than £3,500. I can’t help wishing that some government ministers had come to the lecture, not just to learn something as we all did, but to think over the situation where the future of our prisoners at least partly depends on money buckets.

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Marina Cantacuzino Having highly commended the Forgiveness Project in 2007, the judges this year award it the Longford Prize to salute the development of its work, especially its innovative and challenging Restore offender intervention programme. This is having a real and proven impact on changing how those prisoners who take part in jails around the country think about themselves and their crime. The Forgiveness Project, now in its tenth year, lives out in a practical, effective way the core belief of Lord Longford in every individual’s potential for rehabilitation. It is making a significant contribution to reducing reoffending as well as having a wider impact in creating a more positive commitment in our criminal justice system to restorative justice.

Representatives of the Dutch NGO For the first time the judges are making an award to an overseas organisation because they are keen to draw attention to the extraordinary rehabilitation work of this small Dutch NGO with prisoners in Uganda. It is brave, practical and innovative, operating in circumstances unimaginable in the UK. It creates new futures for individuals whose lives are often torn apart by hostility and rejection once they are released from jails.

Lifetime Achievement Award

New Horizon Youth Centre

Highly Commended

Mona Morrison

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Mona Morrison receiving her Award from Nils Oberg and Jon Snow (Channel 4s News presenter)

Mona Morrison, the judges believe, is a remarkable and courageous individual who is saving lives through her work with gangs, and especially around the often hidden issue of the sexual exploitation of young people sometimes children - involved in gangs. Drawing on her own lifetime experiences, Mona has been able, as part of the St Giles Trust, to establish relationships of trust with vulnerable and traumatised youngsters, who might otherwise be beyond the reach of official agencies, and to transform their lives.

Usually reserved for an individual, this year the judges recognize the achievements and on-going work of the New Horizon Youth Centre in north London, founded by Lord Longford in 1968. Over five decades, this drop-in day centre has maintained an unwavering focus on needy, homeless, alienated and desperate young people. They can count on it, when they can count on no-one else. Its doors are always open, its welcome is always warm, and its programmes continue to evolve to answer every new challenge, including its current highly successful Creating Positive Futures project. All images © prisonimage.org



Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

What are prisons for? A R Mears asks the question about which we all want to know the answer


he question that requires an answer when considering the penal system is, quite simply, ‘What are prisons for?’ If this cannot be answered, then there cannot be proposals to rectify a failing system. Simply stating that ‘Prison Works’ only raises the question - ‘Works to do what?’ Does it reduce crime? The evidence for its failure to do this is our massive reconviction rates. In 1997 Stephen Tumin, reflecting on his time as Chief Inspector of Prisons, in predicting the future wrote - ‘The outlook is gloomy, with policies encouraging overcrowding, and cutting staff and budgets so that many inadequate people will be deprived of the education and psychiatric help they need’. After 17 years his prediction is amazingly accurate. Prisons are still overcrowded and now dangerously understaffed. An answer to the vexed question - ‘What are prisons for?’ is not so difficult once the history of prison is consulted. They are for ‘correction’. To replace bad behaviour with good behaviour. This was the original purpose of the Houses of Correction set up centuries ago. Once the vagrants whose anti-social behaviour troubled our Elizabethan ancestors had been rounded up by the parish constables, they were set to work - idleness corrupts, now as then. Lying around in a cell was not an option in those days. Houses of Correction were to be supplied with materials for making useful goods, not just counting screws into little bags for DIY stores at minimum wages. They were meant to convince the idle that work was a ‘good thing’. Prisoners know that work is a good thing but the current austerity drive has closed the

None of this is difficult once the will to be positive with correction exists. If parents can manage to block websites to protect their children so can the prison service ensure that the internet is not misused. People inside need telephones to contact all manner of outside services. They are not all using their mobiles to operate as international drug dealers or planning escapes - many just want to know how the kids are doing at school, for example. The key to looking after prisoners with humanity, as the Prison Service’s statement of purpose declares, is to consult their needs to prepare for release and reintegration with the community. Jumping in with yet harsher PSIs at every screeching tabloid headline and politician anxious to appear tough to gain votes negates this end. © prisonimage.org

workshops. Severe staff cuts are keeping more people in their cells for longer times preventing them working. Such actions initiated from the top, by those dealing only in cost accounting with no concerns for the lives of people, lead irresistibly to failure. Correction depends on motivation. Locking prisoners up with strangers for most of the day in small lavatories called cells, does not help them to change their ways. If the fixation of

headquarters staff with American practise could be overcome and lessons learned from European examples, there might be progress in reducing crime by correcting offenders. How then is correction to be put into practise? Basically to provide for the future of those inside what we have got on the outside. The three essentials are well known - a steady job to be proud of, a settled place to live and a loving partner to live with. Getting a job needs


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education and training, not just Level 1 & 2 repeat courses. For this purpose books and internet access are necessary equipment. Putting education at the heart of activities in prison by transforming them into secure colleges is an ambition yet to be realised. Finding a place to live needs access to housing providers - by internet again and affordable telephones. Contact with family and friends, which is known to be beneficial, requires the provision of convenient visiting and telephones again. Visitors are not coming to bring in heroin - corrupted staff are better at that.

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While the official authorities seem incapable of genuine reform, only continuing to publish ‘rehabilitation revolutions’ that achieve absolutely nothing, there are many charities and other organisations working in prisons and with prisoners that accomplish great things towards rehabilitation. They should be cherished, not hobbled for ‘security reasons’, because reforming offenders not only reduces crime but benefits them with new lives and hope for the future. A R Mears - Buckinghamshire


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A search for any trace of the government’s ‘Rehabilitation Revolution’ the holes in the sinking ship torpedoed by the very people responsible for its development and maintenance.

by Chris Bridger


Although this is concerning enough what is more worrying is the potential abyss into which the prison system may sink if left to the mercy of the cheapest private provider with HMP Oakwood being one such flagship for the private sector. The Probation Service being put out to tender like a dying lamb despite 90% of probation workers believing the ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ programmes do not provide either value for money or improved services for users, further compounding the difficulties for prisoners traversing the judicial minefields.

s a relatively new member of the prison population I am becoming increasingly concerned about a prison system that fails both the offenders it detains and the public it is meant to serve. Moreover my concerns are not the day-to-day life within prisons but the apparent total lack of rehabilitation due to budget cutbacks. As with every other public sector institution it appears that crippling budget cuts imposed under the guise of ‘efficiency savings’ by a frankly ill-equipped and, at best, complacent cabinet minister Chris Grayling, jeopardising not only the future of offenders but also the safety of the public by not equipping offenders with the skills and qualifications to succeed in not reoffending.

So, in the face of increasing suicides, selfharm, serious assaults, a decrease in funding, staffing levels and morale coupled with a general loss of confidence, this is now the time to admit that through all the public relations exercises that have removed books and reduced the opportunity for prisoners to change, the government have got it wrong, potentially endangering the public and gambling an offender’s future beyond the bars.

© prisonimage.org

‘Rehabilitation’ is defined as ‘helping a person to readjust to society following illness or imprisonment’, but it appears that time and time again opportunities to rehabilitate are being missed with Grayling himself stating that offenders will receive statutory rehabilitation support in the community (Parliamentary Questions September 14th). Surely it is a clear indicator of too-little-too-late, an indicator of the system failing those most reliant on it with rehabilitation being forced into the post release phase as opposed to best utilising the time spent incarcerated? As with the NHS, it would be too easy and convenient to blame this failure solely on a lack of front-line resources because it simply is not the case, the blame should begin much higher up and be placed firmly with the politicians who formulate spending cuts and introduce new initiatives/policies with no acknowledgement of their potential ramifications. The Mailbag section of Inside Time is now filled with letters from both prisoners and their families detailing stories of deteriorating conditions and individuals being continually failed. At first glance these could be written off as a few disgruntled offenders finding fault, but if you look closer it is clear to see the complaints are increasing, and the truth of this is compounded by the highlighting of

conditions by both prisoner’s rights organisations and the Prison Officers Association. Staff cutbacks are blamed for various elements of rehabilitation being either temporarily cancelled or permanently axed. And is it not an ominous sign of the future that a commercial private sector company has been forced to ditch a £17 million education contract citing that staff shortages are so severe that there are not enough escorting staff available? Having spoken to other prisoners I know that many are desperate for education, as they recognise its importance in rehabilitation and improved chances of securing legal and gainful employment. What does it say about Grayling’s ‘Rehabilitation Revolution’ if the system fails to educate those wanting to be educated?

not the politicians that bear the brunt of prisoners frustration, it is the staff on the wings, demoralising an already underpaid and overstretched workforce that is rapidly becoming inexperienced due to poor staff retention. This ultimately leads to the underqualified, often over-zealous staff that are inChris Bridger currently resides at HMP creasingly featured torrent of complaints 509 Out and About in Adthe 22.10.14A_Layout 1 22/10/2014 22:29 Page 1 Isle of Wight about privately-run prisons, brought in to plug

Out and about


The impact of these spending/budget shortfalls are not limited to education, slashed budgets lead to reduced staff numbers, which in turn leads to reports of 23 hour a day lock-ups as the only way to maintain safety within our prisons. This leads to the bitter, angry and potentially violent prison population that may inflict misery on the rest of society, as described by Frances Crook in her assessment of the current prison crisis. But it is

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Tell us why you did it?... You must be joking I didn’t do it! Recent issues of Inside Time have included several articles on how to prepare yourself for an Oral Hearing, and advice on how to answer that all important question on the day ‘Tell us why you did it?’ You are ready to go? But you simply did not do it … So now what? by Dr Peter Pratt, Sara-Jayne Pritt and Sarah Bailey


l Tricky First Step... accept that however difficult and unfair it may seem, the Parole Board have to assume you’re guilty. Whilst you may dispute this, avoid at all costs your hearing becoming a retrial and trying to convince the panel you are innocent. Don’t waste your opportunity; try to show how you’ve reduced your risk of being in a situation that allows you to be falsely accused in the future. This brings me on to your most important task and homework prior to your hearing. You should identify and recall the scenario that allowed you to be in the position to be accused of the offence, in the first place. Try and remember what factors in your life may have contributed to you being accused of the offence. For example, you may have engaged in relationships with the wrong type of people. It may

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They need information to decide whether you can safely be let loose. Be willing to discuss your lifestyle, attitude and beliefs around the time you were accused of committing the offence. It is your right to say ‘I am innocent’ and you do not have to compromise that in order to co-operate. But be willing to co-operate. The panel will want to see that you have taken steps to make changes to avoid being in the same situation again. The Board will expect you to demonstrate some changes in behaviour that avoids any future risk. Even NOMS specify how you can show relevant changes. Be willing to cooperate in any skills programmes, and document any changes in your thoughts, behaviours and attitudes as a result. Simply declaring innocence and refusal to take part won’t help. The Parole Board has to accept the initial decision of the courts. Always put yourself in their shoes. Again, working with your lawyer and a psychologist may help you to prepare.

he work begins way before the actual hearing. The panel will want to see a change in you since you first came into prison. Whilst it’s difficult to participate in many accredited programmes unless you can change your stance of innocence, all hope is not lost. The Parole Board considers your willingness to co-operate and actual progress. So be willing! Also document any evidence that you are willing to engage. The Parole Board has a narrow task to assess your risk. Issues regarding your innocence and whether you were unfairly convicted are beyond their remit. Know your audience, and focus on the task in hand i.e. demonstrating what has changed, and why your risk of being falsely accused has reduced.

l Top Tip: When the day of your hearing arrives, do not leave the panel with a huge information gap.

l Top Tip: Include details of programmes available?

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Prepare yourself for an Oral Hearing

have been your general behaviour, self-esteem or your sexual interests. You may have been coping with financial or work stresses. Alcohol or substance abuse may have played a large role in how you became to be wrongly accused.

behaviour, attitudes, thoughts and feelings within certain situations in the past may have resulted in allegations. This could lead to more allegations in the future, unless you are able to identify and then modify or manage them.

The homework goal is to identify problems in your life that may have led to you being in a position where you could be accused of offending. This requires you to recognise past mistakes, and express that a new start may be necessary for you. This could minimise the possibility of finding yourself in a situation where you could be ‘falsely accused’ of offending in the future. Share your homework with the panel!

You will therefore be required to talk about these problematic attitudes, behaviours, thoughts and feelings, and accept responsibility for them. However, again it does not rely on you taking responsibility for the actual offence. Once you have recognised the situations that put you at risk, you need to develop strategies to reduce or avoid these risky circumstances. You may be able to propose and engage in this preparation with a psychologist, particularly if chosen by your lawyer.

l Top Tip: At the hearing, the risk factors associated with your offending will be addressed, or at the very least assessed, without you having to admit to the actual offence. Be prepared! You need to consider how and why your

Indeed there is some recent research which an Independent Psychologist should know which shows that sometimes ‘deniers’ are not more ‘risky’ than admitters.

The Parole Board may well want to hear you express a level of understanding and compassion for victims who have suffered harm. Psychologists usually call this ‘victim empathy’, which is jargon for simply understanding how victims of crime must feel. Even if you are innocent, you can still freely discuss your thoughts around victims in general, and display empathy. Be prepared to explain what steps you can take in the future, however simple they may be, to avoid or eliminate future risk. l Top Tip: Acceptance and understanding of ‘how victims of crime actually feel’ is a big step forward. Demonstrate how and why you would address this. l Top Tip: Don’t assume that that ‘Being Innocent’ will lead to release, or give up on applications. But, by engaging and cooperating, the panel will consider your input and make a fair assessment. Working with psychologists may help you gather and explain your thoughts. Remember there is always a way forward. All hope is not lost! Sarah Bailey - University of Nottingham Sara-Jayne Pritt - Swain & Co Solicitors Dr Peter Pratt - Psycho Social Services Ltd

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Is it all in the mind? Philip White looks into the mind altering world of LSD, hypnosis, brain implants and electric shock treatment to control the minds of English prisoners


one point he thought he had been raped but this may not have happened although the sensation had the impact of pushing the subject to the state of breaking point. Even the dormitories of the prison were designed to be used as a way to put stress on subjects who the researchers had chosen for their mind control tests. The researchers used the technique to put pressure on the subjects, by telling the other inmates in his dormitory that the subject was a homosexual. The other inmates would then target this subject in the night which resulted in further stress in the subject’s brain. The researchers needed to keep the subject under extreme stress to conduct their research on him. The subject also remembered one day being in a room and researchers talking to him. One researcher was putting something into the left eye socket of the subject. From mind control documents, radio type receivers were put into subjects brains to see if the researchers could communicate with the subjects. The subject in this case had the sensation that the researchers had put something into his skull. However he dismissed it all because of the pressure the researchers were putting on him, he just wanted to survive and he thought he was going crazy. He dismissed everything as being not real.

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n 1977, it was revealed in the USA Congress that secret research had been going on for years into mind control. Some of the subjects were prisoners who never knew they were test subjects. The researchers, who worked for the CIA, used various methods to see if total mind control could be achieved on subjects. LSD, hypnosis,

sleep deprivation, sexual assaults, lobotomies (brain surgery) electric shock, were all used on subjects. The main project was called MKULTRA.

methods. Therefore a subject may not realise that a handler could say a word or two and the subject could go to the other personality which they never knew existed in them.

The CIA documents also revealed that research into splitting a person’s personality could be achieved in some subjects by using the above

However in England the secret services, MI5 and MI6, have never released any documents which suggest that their researchers have conducted this type of mind control research on prisoners in England. Yet evidence does exist that researchers in England conducted mind control research on subjects and some were on prison inmates. One inmate for example, in 1979, was remanded in custody. It was his first time ever in jail. He was seventeen years of age. The inmate was subjected to all the above methods. At the time he did not know why this was happening to him. The researchers made the young inmate sign the piece of paper giving them the right to carry out research on him.   The subject remembered being made to do various exercises to get him tired.   The researchers also gave him drugs as the days went by, which were similar to LSD. He also remembered being given electric shock. At

When the subject was released from prison in 1981, after serving his time, he had the sensation that he was still a subject. He returned to Wolverhampton and tried to settle down. However, the subject could sense there was an electronic device in his skull and this device were being targeted by the researchers. The subject thought the researchers could create moods in his brain like creating a mood for the subject to have the feeling he wanted to die. The research lasted for about four years after the subject was released from jail. The subject is still a broken man even after all these years. In his opinion it is no coincidence that all the techniques performed on him were similar to techniques performed on subjects in the USA and Canada under mind control projects. This has convinced him that these mind control projects were also performed on subjects here in England. Other subjects are out there who have gone through the same research. Their stories should be told in order for us to understand the full history of prison life in England and Wales. Philip White currently resides at HMP Wolverhampton



PRISON LAW DEPARTMENT Catherine McCarthy All aspects of criminal law, including Appeals/CCRC/Confiscation Orders.

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Care Act - what does it mean for prisoners?

Ross Bell’s first impression of life on the inside


Francesca Cooney Advice & Information Manager


ocial care is the term used to describe providing personal care or support to adults with needs as a result of illness, disability or old age. So this could be help with getting a walking stick, or another aid to assist with daily life, or it could be something like help using the shower or getting dressed.

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am a prisoner and am, therefore, obsessed with time. Most human beings are acutely aware of their finite existence (at least on this plane of reality) but prison makes a person talk about the subject with a repetition bordering on the insane and a variation reminiscent of the inane. Sometimes everything is filtered through the prism of your sentence including what prison to be at, what course to do, what job to take, which PSO to read, which court ruling or government policy will affect you, when you can apply for re-categorisation, what officer will help, which officer really won’t help. Calculation after recalculation occurs of what action to take when after every MOJ announcement, media report, or dinner queue rumour. Inmates will bandy the concept of time about like quantum physicists and usually feel confident about actually manipulating it. Some people ‘get their heads down’; others grate against every second of incarceration. Individuals can drift on through in a haze of drugs or television, religion or Xbox, whilst some feel curiously awake for the first time ever in the grip of redemption and renewal. The mythical ‘bird-killer’ is oft talked about as a legendary search for an activity, job or place that will make the heavy burden of seconds ticking away in our own private purgatory ease and lighten. It is hoped that such an undertaking will remove the continual awareness of the journey to enable you to arrive at destination freedom, surprised and refreshed. Personally speaking, I like a plan. I cling to my regime like Augustus Gloop holding onto a chocolate bar. My deepest fears of not wasting a moment of my time in here, haven’t allowed me to go along with the flow and melt into the rhythms of the place. Some testify that you should become like the ocean and that all in the universe will then flow to you in mystical confluence. Feck that. I like to analyse and agitate, scheme and then execute. Prodding, pulling and poking in an attempt to get what I need and want to navigate my ass out of this place. I have absolutely no doubt that on

occasion I probably become a massive pain to people trying to get along quietly with their jobs and lives, but I just can’t help myself. Leave it to change? No I think I’ll be playing the percentages thank you. As a consequence my day is apportioned ruthlessly for meditation, exercise, eating, education, reading, sleep and writing this nonsense. I can’t move away from it because the horror of having the time slip away from me without reward is too acute now. I’m just too aware of the time I’ve sacrificed on the altar of my own stupidity. But what if I forgot the plan for a day? What if I just left it drift in an orgy of spontaneity and self-indulgence? I tried it. It was wonderful. The morning was spent just strolling about, not exercising. I kept my head up all the time and looked around me and saw different things and had random conversations. Some people noticed me for the first time as I observed them and awareness spread. The sun was shining, the ducks were quacking and the flower beds were in full bloom. The quest for relentless self-improvement was abated for a day and I relaxed into an afternoon of fantasy fiction lying atop my bed. Glorious. I even went mental and sacrificed my usual Spartan diet for the delights of super noodles and cake. You devalue your time if you don’t do. I can’t get away from that personal truth, but some days you can just be. It’s really rather nice.

About The Man

I was born in Broadstairs, Kent 42 years ago. Punctuating my career as an Army Officer and working for the family business (booze), I committed VAT fraud in 2005. For this crime, I was sentenced to 8 years in 2014. This blog is an attempt to communicate with my friends and family about how I am feeling and what’s happening inside (and ‘inside’). If you’re reading this and I haven’t met you before, you are most welcome and I hope your liberty finds you well.

At the moment, care is provided by a mixture of people - prison staff, health care staff, prisoners and sometimes (but not often) social care staff. This means that there can be delays in sorting out who is going to provide care and sometimes not everyone gets the care that they need. People who were getting support before coming into prison might find that this stops once they are inside. Sometimes people haven’t had their needs looked at before and it is only when they get to prison that these are identified. From April 2015 the situation will be clearer. The Care Act states that assessing the care needs of prisoners (and people in approved premises - probation hostels) and providing care and support where the need is great enough will be the duty of the local authority. The ‘eligibility criteria’ is the level of support someone needs to be entitled to social care. Not everyone who has a need will be eligible for support. The assessment will look at whether their physical or mental health conditions have a significant impact on their wellbeing. Once you are assessed as being eligible, a care and support plan will be prepared, with you and others involved in your care. It will include information about who is responsible for different bits of the care plan. Local

authorities will be responsible for providing individual daily living aids and funding personal care, although they can pay another organisation to provide the personal care. It is likely that changes to the prison building, such as a ramp or rails, will be the responsibility of the prison. The Care Act also says that the local authority (council) in the area where the prison is located is responsible for the delivery of care in the establishment. So, if you are in prison in the Midlands but you are from London, the local council in the Midlands is responsible. It won’t matter where you have lived before prison or where you plan to live after. The local council will be expected to assess you if you appear to have needs and then determine whether you are entitled to care and support. The Care Act also means that if someone is receiving care and support in one prison and then transfers somewhere else, the care should continue. Similarly, care should continue on release into the community. There are some parts of the Care Act that will not apply to prisoners in the same way as to people in the community. Prisoners will not have the same choices about arranging their care as people who are not in prison. Prisoners will also not be entitled to direct payments for care and support. As now, prisoners will not be able to choose where they are located, although their personal situation, including any health or disability issues, should be taken into account when allocating to a prison.

If you would more information, have any questions or need advice please contact us at Prison Reform Trust, FREEPOST ND6125 London EC1B 1PN. Our free information line for prisoners is open Mondays 3.30-5.30 and Tuesday and Thursday 3.30-5.30. The number is 0808 802 0060 and does not need to be put on your pin.

Parole/Adjudications/Recalls – Ring Lisa, former offender supervisor from HMP Swaleside or Alan, former governor of HMP Holloway. Alan and Lisa also provide expert evidence on all aspects of any prison law matters. Compensation Claims – Have you been assaulted or injured? Have you received inadequate medical or dental treatment? Speak to Kulwinder or Malcolm to find out whether you are entitled to compensation. Mental Health – Are you receiving adequate treatment for your mental health problem? Contact Kerry-Anne for advice and representation. Disability Discrimination – Restricted mobility and association? No access to work, exercise or education? You may wish to speak to Stuart or Mladen. Re-categorisation, HDC, Sentence Planning & other work undertaken for as little as £300 2nd Floor, 20-25 Market Square, Bromley, BR1 1NA

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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org even gave him a name, symbolic of the use of numbers in the CJS. Nobody would give him a chance to show that he was harmless, kind and loving. As soon as anyone saw him they attacked him verbally and physically because he was so repulsive to look at. The monster though was very sensitive. At every rejection he went deeper into alienated self-loathing that served only to increase his desire for revenge against his creator. He embarks on a life of violence to avenge the injustice done to him and to convince his creator that he should help him.

COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF CHILD ABUSE Helping victims plan for the future and achieve justice

Our specialist team are committed to helping victims of abuse and are experts in bringing action against local authorities, such as social services, and residential institutions, such as children’s homes. Our dedicated team of male and female lawyers have a proven track record with sexual, physical and emotional abuse claims. Child abuse can take a long time to come to terms with and it can be difficult for victims to speak out about their traumatic experiences. Regardless of how long ago the abuse took place, may still be able to make acrime claim. Has society created a you monster called that it Anything you say to us will be handled with the utmost levels of professionalism, refuses to take responsibility for? sensitivity and understanding. funding and that Jordans are recognised by unfit Child abuse claims are often eligible for pubicmade it clear he was unworthy and the legal services commission as one of the few specialist providers of legal aid for by ex lifer Owen Davies for society. this type of work in the UK.

Doctor Frankenstein and his monster As Frankenstein wanted nothing to do with his monster, he left him to his own devices, at the n Mary Shelley’s analogy of Doctor mercy of a world that could never accept him. Frankenstein is society and FrankenFrankenstein was never healthy and fit for stein’s monster is the offender, Frankensociety again himself, as much as he hoped stein created the monster and immedithe team monsteron would simply go away. His wellCall Christine Sands and the 01924 868911 ately rejected him. He found him too being became intimately dependent on the [email protected] ugly and detestable to Email even look at. He was well-being of his monster but he refused to ashamed creation, insteadWellington of Writeof tohisNeil Jordanyet, House, Road, Dewsbury, WF13 1HL acknowledge this interdependence. He never helping him gain the acceptance he craved,


COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF CHILD ABUSE Helping victims plan for the future and achieve justice

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In Foster Care Leeds Care Homes Wales Care Homes North East Care Homes Manchester Care Homes St Williams, East Yorkshire Medomsley Detention Centre, County Durham

If you have suffered sexual abuse in any institution or whilst in the care of your local authority we may be able to help.

Only when the monster murders Frankenstein’s younger brother does his creator pay him any attention at all. But instead of offering to help him who he has created Frankenstein himself now wants revenge. Frankenstein refuses to take responsibility for the actions of the creature he has created. ‘How can Frankenstein be so ignorant and stupid?’ the reader constantly asks. The monster clearly explains to Frankenstein that if his creator compromises and allows him to experience love, he won’t commit any more crime but if Frankenstein refuses to help him then he will continue to commit crime. ‘If I have no ties or affections,’ the monster cries to Frankenstein, ‘hatred and vice must be my portion; the acceptance and love of society will destroy the cause of my crimes.’ There is no doubt or exception to this rule. Doctor Frankenstein will suffer in direct proportion to the suffering of the monster. Society will suffer in direct proportion to the suffering of the offender. Society has created the monster that is crime. It complains endlessly about its monster, yet refuses to take responsibility for its creation. It is such an horrendous mess, it is impossible to distinguish between Frankenstein and his monster. Frankenstein could just as easily be the offender and the monster society. We are all readers of the romantic gothic, even the illiterate ones among us. Our Frankenstein, which we read all day every day is life. It is not the outpourings of a hyperbolic imagination, it is real, it is our work of art. If he is not loved, hatred and vice must be his portion.

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Quote of the Month

Mob justice making a dangerous mockery of right to second chance Matthew Syed (Sport Columnist of the Year) The Times November 17 2014 It is easy to parade one’s belief in second chances when it comes to shoplifters and tax evaders. It is easier still when it comes to youth offenders and those who are still basically children. But what about drug dealers and murderers? What about rapists? The more heinous the crime, the more tempting to fudge the idea of rehabilitation. That is what has happened with Ched Evans. That rape is a despicable crime is universally agreed upon. That the victim will pay the price for years to come is an agonising truth. But still, the question remains do we believe in second chances or don’t we? Winston Churchill wrote: “The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilisation of any country. A desire and eagerness to rehabilitate in the world of industry of all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment, tireless efforts towards the discovery of curative and regenerating processes and an unfaltering faith that there is a treasure, if only you can find it, in the heart of every person - these are the symbols which in the treatment of crime and criminals mark and measure the stored up strength of a nation, and are the sign and proof of the living virtue in it.” The only possible lesson that youngsters are going to take from the Evans affair is that if you commit rape, you will go to jail and your reputation will be rightly shredded. But if he is afforded the right to return as a footballer, they will glimpse another precious message too: once you have been released from prison, you will be given a second chance. The Evans case is important in its own right, but it has come to symbolise much more than the future of the 25 year-old. Ultimately, it is about our capacity to separate our abhorrence at the nature of a crime from our commitment to second chances. When these things blur, rehabilitation dies. And without a commitment to due process, as Churchill rightly argues, justice is a sham.

Late news: Since this article was written the offer to Ched Evans to continue playing for Sheffield United has been withdrawn.


Comment: Human Rights

Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org


ver the past 20 years the prison system has undergone a punitive transformation with successive Home & Justice Secretaries following Michael Howard’s examples of dealing harshly with prisoner ‘Untermenschen’ ie the Nazi term for inferior races.

English mainland. When the defence appealed, the appeal was heard by Lord Justice Judge! Permission to appeal to the House of Lords (now Supreme Court) was refused by, none other than, Lord Justice Judge. Very cosy! The former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve MP has accused Grayling of many ‘errors’ in his plan to ‘reform’ the HRA. One thing that is left unsaid amid all the condemnation of the Conservative Party’s plans is the ability of parliament to enact retrospective legislation.

David Cameron’s statement that the thought of prisoners getting the vote ‘made him feel physically sick’ is an example of how even in minor matters the Untermenschen view of prisoners is rooted within the Conservative Party. On the 10th December 1948 the United Nations proclaimed ‘the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’. The Council of Europe of which Britain was and is a member created the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The basic rights are fairly simple; Article 1 Obligation to respect human rights; Article 2 Right to life; Article 3 Prohibition of Torture; Article 4 Prohibition of slavery and forced labour; Article 5 Right to liberty and security; Article 6 Right to a fair trial and so on. In 1998, the Westminster Government created the Human Rights Act (1998) as a part of English Law. On October 3rd 2014, two Tory rags announced on their front pages the end of human rights ‘madness’ and welcomed Conservative Party policy to condemn the Human Rights Act to history, to stop the European Court of Human Rights ‘imposing foreign court rulings on Britain’ and so on. The reality is there is nothing in the Human Rights Act (1998) that requires UK courts or Parliament to act on decisions handed down by the European Court. Section 2 of the HRA merely requires judges to ‘take into account’ case law from Europe. Hardly an imposition of European Court rulings. Once again, lies dominate the truth. For example, in a snapshot of 15,000 cases submitted to the European Court, only 8 resulted in rulings against the UK. Eight cases! Not even members of the Cabinet need to use their thumbs to count that high. So who do the Conservative Party propose should draw up a UK Bill of Rights to replace the HRA (1998) and ensure withdrawal from the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights & Fundamental Freedoms? None other than Chris Grayling, who is currently overseeing the meltdown of the Prison Service. Prisoner Suicides are up by 69%, but a Grayling quote from the 18th September again reflects the Untermenschen views of the Nasty party. (I’m not convinced that ‘nasty’ isn’t a misspelling). Grayling said: ‘Leftist critiques of the prison system bear no relation to reality - inmate suicides have nothing to do with coalition government policies - we are doing more to help prisoners than Labour did’. Using the Labour Party Home & Justice Secretaries as a benchmark is disingenuous in the extreme given that Straw & Blunkett were responsible for more acts of injustice than even Michael Howard. The now defunct IPP sentences, loss of the right to silence, joint enterprise, PII, secret evidence and so on are examples of the Labour Party’s take on human rights. The hypocrisy of Grayling’s statement above is reflected in other ways. Nick Clegg, leader of the soon to be extinct Liberal Democratic Party recently stated that even when a prisoner has served his sentence, (Ched Evans), he

What retrospective legislation means in simple terms is the ability to back-date a legal decision or statute. Michael Howard, when Home Secretary went on a retrospective fun spree revisiting lifers tariffs and increasing them, until the HRA said tariff increases were a matter for the courts, not a right wing politician.

Human Rights: truth and lies The history of the Human Rights Act by Keith Rose should not be allowed to join his old employer (Sheffield United Football Club). So much for a rehabilitation policy from the Liberals! Eric Allison, the Guardian’s prison columnist recently reported that Grayling intended to get rid of Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons for truthfully reporting that the prison system is in meltdown, and that prisoner suicides ‘are not acceptable in a civilised country’. If Grayling does ‘re-advertise’ Hardwick’s post at the expiry of Hardwick’s tenure next summer, it will not be the first time this government has removed a truthful Chief Inspector of Prisons. Anne Owers was elbowed out in the same way. Jack Straw pulled a similar stunt with Lord Ramsbotham in 2000. If, heaven forfend, Grayling is permitted to


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draw up a UK Bill of Rights, what would he, who has no legal experience at all, base it on? Britain doesn’t have a constitution, indeed it’s the only country in the world lacking one. Grayling, like any politician would say Britain’s constitution is unwritten. If it’s unwritten it doesn’t exist and any politician who wants to dispute this can first cash my unwritten cheque for a couple of million. Britons are not even citizens of their country, they are subjects of a monarch, property of the Queen. Magna Carta has for nearly 800 years been regarded as Britain’s Bill of Rights, but in January 2010 in room 63 of the Royal Courts of Justice, Lord Justice Igor Judge, shredded the Magna Carta. In a ruling based on still secret information from a now discredited Metropolitan Assistant Commissioner, Judge permitted the first non-jury trial on robbery charges on the

So what else has the European Court of Human Rights done for us? A few case examples are: The implementation of the HRA in 1998. Holding the police to account for failing to investigate rape and human trafficking. The introduction of rights for children who were abused yet ignored by social services. The right to have life saving drugs. Resolution of the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal. Inquiries into civilian deaths in war zones. Failing to properly equip serving troops. Prevention of local councils using CCTV to spy on parents of school children. Preventing closure of libraries. Prevention of abuse of the elderly, and so on. Replacement of the HRA by a Grayling bastardised version is foolhardy and dangerous. For example, did you know that the Metropolitan Police employed a serial killer who killed two, and attempted to kill two others in the 80’s? (A serial killer is someone who has killed at least twice). Of course not, but the HRA has forced disclosure of the CO19 officer’s record and name prior to his murder trial for a third killing next year. However, he won’t be convicted. Since 1969 there have been more than 3000 deaths in state custody, yet there has never been a single conviction. Grayling in charge of Human Rights legislation? Eric Allison stated he wouldn’t trust him to compile a grocery list. Perhaps the final word should rest with an Anglican bishop, who stated on BBC Breakfast on the 18th October: ‘Grayling simply doesn’t care about prison suicides, he simply doesn’t care’. Keith Rose BA Hons currently resides at HMP Whitemoor

Comment: Human Rights

Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org


‘Scapegoating the undeserving poor’ John Bowden on the possible removal of the Human Rights Act and it’s implications for society


ustice Minister Chris Grayling’s declaration in early October that, if still in power following a General Election next year, the Conservative government will withdraw completely from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) reflects a shift to the hard right in British politics. And a warning shot that not even a basic recognition of universal human rights in the treatment of usually the most disempowered and disadvantaged groups on society will prevail. The British government has already breached ECHR rulings in relation to the rights of prisoners to vote and the lawfulness, or unlawfulness, of holding life sentenced prisoners in jail until they die, and it is the treatment of prisoners that essentially characterises the conflict of the British government with the European Court. The treatment of prisoners generally is usually an accurate barometer of the social and political climate that prevails in the wider society. And within such a total institution as prison where the imprisoned are held in a condition of absolute powerlessness and civil death a hardening of social attitude and political climate regarding ‘law and order’ inevitably finds expression in more repressive prison regimes with a diminishing regard for any abstract notion of human rights. In times of economic ‘austerity’ with its potential for social unrest there is always an increased

scapegoating of unpopular (as defined by the media and political establishment) and marginalised groups, and this often assumes its most vicious expression and influence in the treatment of society’s most disempowered and demonised group - prisoners.

of the most socially impoverished and disadvantaged. The hardcore ‘career criminal’ that once went to jail as an ‘occupational hazard’ has been increasingly replaced by the social consequences and products of hopelessness: the drug addicted and the insane.

Recent highly critical reports on the treatment of prisoners by the Inspectorate of Prisons and the Prisons Ombudsman describe a straightforward warehousing of prisoners in deteriorating conditions and under regimes that amount to permanent lock-down. The liberal element of the establishment, which includes the prisons inspectorate and the ombudsman, attribute worsening prison conditions to government financial cutbacks and a reduction in ‘front line’ prison staff, whilst Justice Secretary Grayling has declared it is his deliberate intention to ‘get tough’ with prisoners and make prison regimes more punishment based and repressive. Either by deliberate design or a starving of resources prisons are being reduced to their original hard-edged function of punishing the ‘undeserving poor’.

“ Grayling has

The psychological damage inflicted on prisoners as a consequence of ‘tougher regimes’ is reflected in increasing levels of suicide and self-harm, and a growing population of seriously mentally ill prisoners. In some prisons, especially the urban local remand jails, an atmosphere and environment exists that is reminiscent of the Victorian prison system - a man-made hell overcrowded with an underclass

declared it is his deliberate intention to ‘get tough’ with prisoners and make prison regimes more punishment based and repressive ” The Victorian workhouse, asylum and ‘clink’ (local Victorian lock-up) have been resurrected as a singular institution within which the undeserving and damaged poor are contained and warehoused. The increasing privatisation of these institutions suggest a sort of Victorian-age laissez faire capitalism has returned with a vengeance. Any concept of human rights in such an environment is meaningless and so Grayling is determined to create a legal

vacuum around the treatment of the imprisoned. Last year he removed an important legal front in the struggle for prisoner’s rights by stopping legal aid for prisoner litigation cases. This effectively turned the clock back to pre 1980s and before the important Tarrant ruling that finally allowed prisoners access to the courts to challenge abuses of power by the prison system. Now prisons, and those operating them, are again legally untouchable and in terms of the ECHR it will soon be the government that defines our human rights and what constitutes a breach of them. Considering that Britain is one of the worst violators of the ECHR the future does not bode well for the health and civil liberties and human rights in Britain if such rights are to be defined by those who repeatedly violate and abuse them. The scapegoating of marginalised groups like prisoners and using them as a pretext to remove a commitment to a European-wide human rights act has ominous implications for society generally and especially its poorest and most disadvantaged members who, in a ruthless neo-liberal and globalised economy are beginning to experience third-world conditions of existence and a contempt for their human rights. John Bowden currently resides at HMP Shotts

YOU’RE MEANT TO BE DOING TIME… ...NOT PERSONAL INJURY You’ve committed the offence, been found guilty and now you’re doing time at Her Majesties pleasure…….and time is all you should be doing. You may not have your freedom but you do have your rights. A wet floor, loose stair, trip in the gym, attack by a fellow inmate or even intimidation from prison staff. If you think you have suffered personal injury

or negligence through no fault of your own talk to Michael Jefferies Solicitors and we’ll fight for the compensation you deserve.

We can’t stop you counting time but if you’ve suffered personal injury we’ll help you count what’s due to you.

As one of the countries leading personal injury solicitors we have been representing prisoners for many years, winning claims from hundreds to many thousands of pounds. All on a NO WIN NO FEE basis.








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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Learning in prison from a womans perspective Firstly I was in Bronzefield, where I spent a year, my job there was as a teaching assistant in numeracy. I thoroughly enjoyed this as it enabled me to encourage others to believe in themselves when so many didn’t believe that they could learn. When I arrived there, the list of women who had been trying to get onto an Open University (OU) degree course was lengthy and most had been waiting for months. But I managed to get on to a distance learning course in Bookkeeping which PET funded. Then I went to HMP Styal, near Manchester. It was totally different. Staying in detached houses covering the estate gave me a sense of freedom which is impossible being locked up for hours on end. The manager in the education department was hands-on and suggested I look through an OU prospectus. He was very encouraging and again PET kindly funded me.


© PET and Rebecca Radmore

t the Association of Members of Independent Monitoring Boards (AMIMB) conference on 4th November 2014, Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) alumnus Sarah spoke to the audience about her experience of learning in prison. She said: If it wasn’t for me being given access to courses during my sentence I would not have left prison 11 months ago with a full time job, a job that I am still in today. Over my three years three months sentence I resided in four different prisons, all of which were run very differently.

As time went by I decided to ask my family to help, they sent me print outs of the courses I was interested in so I could apply. I ended up going to college and then working on ROTL, but so many other women missed out on either distance learning courses or attending college or universities because of the lack of resources available to them. Some were discouraged from applying for a student loan whilst in prison as they were told they couldn’t incur debts during their sentence. I informed them that we were all entitled to apply for student loans and pushed them to go for it.

the same opportunities that I was.

Approximately six weeks before the end of my sentence, Downview closed and I had to move to Holloway as it was the closest prison to where I was working. I was extremely grateful that I was allowed to go out to work within 48 hours of arriving there. Some of the other women who had been transferred weren’t so lucky and had been there weeks without having been let out. There are so many other women who should have, but were not given

Education is extremely important in giving people an opportunity to improve their chances of employability, which is a huge factor in keeping people away from committing crime.

Our Team of over 25 specialist advisors have a wealth of experience to offer you including:

National means near YOU! We can help you in ANY PRISON in England and Wales, at ANY TIME. You can also write to us FREEPOST at:

FREEPOST RTAB-BATB-HGAU Carringtons Solicitors Nottingham NG2 2JR

986 3472 0983 Tel: 0115 958

• Parole Board Hearings • IPP Sentence Issues • Mandatory Lifers • Discretionary Lifers • Automatic Lifers • Sentence Planning Boards • Re-categorisation • Category A Reviews • DSPD Assessments • Accessing Courses • Parole • Recall • Independent Adjudications • Governor Adjudications • Challenge of MDT’s • HDC “Tagging” • Transfer • Judicial Review • Tariff Representations • IPP Sentence Appeals • Police Interviews

Holloway’s resettlement wing closed about a month after I left. Access to education departments has become even harder as the prisons run on a skeleton staff and are therefore unable to escort prisoners to classrooms or work activities.

I do hope that in the near future my experiences do become irrelevant as the prison system runs as it should do, but sadly I don’t think this is going to happen any time soon.

Artists on show

At Styal I was told about the virtual campus (VC) to enable those who wanted to study to have online access to courses. In the six months I was there this wasn’t available as they couldn’t get the connection set up within the prison. I was then transferred to Downview where they also had a VC room with computers but unfortunately I was told that the license had expired. I was working towards my degree and one of my modules was online only. I wasted months until a different module started. Whilst at Downview I had interviews with a careers advisor who I asked to help me get onto a course within the local college for when I was eligible for being released on temporary license (ROTL). I soon realised that she was totally overworked and had little time to help everyone she spoke to.

A year has gone past since I left prison and I wish I could say the system has improved and everything runs smoothly now. That is just not the truth. In fact, things have deteriorated.

Inner Peace, is by Julio Osorio


e’re delighted to have at least three PET funded artists in this year’s Koestler Trust exhibition in London’s prestigious Southbank Centre. They include Julio, who with no prior experience of painting became a prolific artist in prison, producing 60 paintings, one of which is in the Catching Dreams exhibition. With help from PET, Julio was able to buy paints which he used to produce original works of art on canvasses made from recycled old prison sheets. The 43-year old says that during his two and a

half year sentence, art helped him to cope: “I had never painted before but from my very first art lesson in prison, I dived straight in. I didn’t want to waste my time and art helped me to get my mind off where I was. It was very therapeutic. I found I didn’t think about anything else apart from what’s in front of me, so I could completely disconnect myself from the environment,” he says. If you would like money for some materials to work on your future masterpieces or are interested in gaining formal qualifications in art please write to the charity at FREEPOST PRISONERS EDUCATION TRUST.

“Commitment to an effective education curriculum” for long term prisoners On 17th November delivering Prisoners’ Education Trust’s annual lecture, ‘Using Time: not doing time, a constructive and humane regime for longer sentenced prisoners’, Michael Spurr, Chief Executive, National Offender Management Service said he is committed to an effective education curriculum for all learners in prison. Referring to PET’s recent report, Brain Cells: Listening to Prisoner Learners (3rd edition), he welcomed the views of people who had engaged in prison education and said he wants to work on its recommendations. Mr Spurr added that despite challenges resulting in a combination of staff shortages and a higher prison popula-

tion over the past 12 months, education is a priority for the prison service and that officers recognise it is key to reducing reoffending rates and rehabilitating people in prison. He said: “I want to make clear our commitment to an effective education curriculum and to reinforce education genuinely as an enabler for prisoners to cope with the pains of long-term imprisonment and as a catalyst for change, desistance and rehabilitation. I want to congratulate PET for its role in promoting education and particularly distance learning for the last 25 years.”


Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Take your first Steps to Success in 2015 A new year ... a new start? What better way than by registering on a new Open University Access Module? pack and from February 2015 Access Modules should be available for study on the Virtual Campus (in England).

2015 could be the year that you begin your Open University journey and join the thousands of Open University students in prisons and secure units who make a positive change in their lives through study at Higher Education level. We know that everyone has to start somewhere and OU Access Modules are an ideal starting point in all the Open University’s qualification pathways - so whether you see your future career in Arts and Languages, Science Technology and Maths or if your employment aspirations involve Social Science topics such as People, Work and Society there’s an Access Module for you. You don’t need any special knowledge or experience to study an Access Module and as with most Open University study you don’t need any qualifications to be accepted on the course.

Still thinking about it? Well don’t just take our word for it here’s what our students have to say: ‘I want to better myself, give myself more career opportunities and for once in my life not be a loser. I’m quite intelligent but unfortunately I’ve focussed my energies on crime due to being young but now I’ve matured I’ve realised I could do better with the right qualification. I mean, how could I go wrong with a degree? ‘

If you’d like more information you can ask your education department for our brochure “Steps to Success - A financially supported entry route to an Open University qualification“ which gives more details on Access Module content, funding, the application process and where your studies can take you. Make 2015 the year you take your first step to success with the Open University.

your potential

• Open to everyone

• No previous knowledge, experience or educational qualifications needed

• Help and support every step of the way

Study material is provided in an Off-line

• Wide variety of subjects available

Our Access Modules start in October and February each year. We advise you to apply early to guarantee a place. They are studied over a period of thirty weeks and during that time you should expect to spend no less than nine hours a week on your studies.

Some of the messages of thanks we receive from our listeners and stick to the walls in the office.

over the past year? Perhaps the moments when you achieved something or felt the tide turning.

Kurt, OU ‘Starting with Maths’ student

• Start at a level to suit you even if you’re a complete beginner

To find out more, talk to your Prison Education Department

Because funding is available to cover your Access Module fees you won’t have to commit to taking out a student loan to fund your studies before you feel ready to do so.

New Year’s Eve is always big on National Prison Radio

Ready for a new start? Then ask your education department to contact us. Our dedicated Student Registration and Enquiry Service for students in Prisons and Secure Units will advise on how you can apply to register on an Access Module and the funding available from the Prisoners Education Trust.

So why study an Access Module, why not start your Degree straight away? Access Modules are designed to introduce students to University level study. They will allow you to build your confidence and develop your study skills including: reading and interpreting information; producing written communications; managing your time effectively; organising your thoughts and your work; and sharpening up your problem solving skills.

Put your prison on the NPR map

You’ll have a tutor who will provide regular support throughout your studies along with written feedback on your work. Our dedicated learner support staff will help with any general queries you may have.


The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England and Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

l You could get your Access module fees paid through the Open University/Prisoners Education Trust “Steps to Success” route - if you’re resident in England, you’re a UK national and your Prison Governor is happy to authorise your study; l receive an OU Access Module Certificate when you pass whether you decide to go on to further OU study or not; l take the next steps to Degrees in Business Studies, Humanities, English Language or Literature, Social Sciences or Sports and Fitness to name just a few; l be on the way to a new career path with a nationally recognised qualification.


Realise your potential • Open to everyone • No previous knowledge, experience or educational qualifications needed • Help and support every step of the way

• Wide variety of subjects available • Start at a level to suit you even if you’re a complete beginner To find out more, talk to your Prison Education Department The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England and Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

2. What are your hopes for 2015? Where do you want to be by the end of next year and how are you going to get there?


very year, we run a special extended National Prison Radio Request Show leading up to midnight, and this year is going to be bigger than ever.

We want to play as many requests and shout-outs as we can in the final hours of 2014, and after 11pm we’re going to be counting down the top 10 prisons across England and Wales for sending in requests through this year. The top few prisons are really close, and there’s still plenty of time to give your establishment a boost by sending in as many requests as you can. It doesn’t just have to be you - you might want to get everyone on your landing to write in, and you can get friends and family on the outside to boost your numbers by asking them to log in to www.nationalprisonradio.com and send in their own shouts. As well as requesting music and shouts, we also want you to tell us two other things: 1. We want to hear your stories of 2014 what were the important moments for you

Keep listening to National Prison Radio throughout December to find out more, and get your messages in to National Prison Radio, HMP Brixton, London SW2 5XF. Get them in early and there’s more chance you’ll hear them on the special New Year’s Request Show.

AGONY UNCS The lads in HMP Brixton have developed a brand new show for December on National Prison Radio. Agony Uncs debates some of the big - and not so big - issues of the day. Simon and his guests chew over everything from politics to the latest celebrity eviction from the jungle. Expect disagreement, passion and plenty of opinion. And most important - keep in touch with what’s happening on the outside. If you’d like to suggest a topic for Agony Uncs to discuss then write to us at National Prison Radio, HMP Brixton, London SW2 5XF. You can hear Agony Uncs at 8am on Tuesday, 8pm on Wednesday and 5pm on Saturday.



Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org staff which is why there are huge recruitment notices everywhere because you just cannot run the size of prisons we have with the number of prisoners we have on a skeleton staff, so again the Prison Service costs more than the Foreign Office and all our diplomats put together, more than Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA); it’s a huge chunk of public money if you include recidivism, and nobody wants to pay more taxes or divert money from other public expenditure to improve the pay and prospects and therefore the training and qualifications of prison officers.

Eric McGraw (EM): As a former Member of Parliament and a Minister for Europe, you must have been to some interesting places and met a lot of interesting people but probably nothing prepared you for the meat wagon taking you to Belmarsh - or ‘Hellmarsh’ as I think it’s called in your book? Denis MacShane (DM): One thing that had prepared me was that I think in 1982 I was arrested in Warsaw when I was running money to the underground operations of the repressed Polish Union Solidarity and I was picked up by the police and kept in a cell and taken out for interrogation at 4 o’clock in the morning and ended up in front of a workers’ court. It really was a worker’s court, there were two gentlemen in blue overalls with a magistrate in a suit, collar and tie in between them, and I think I was probably found guilty of the same thing, fraud or doing something improper with money in Communist Poland so...

EM: I have met two prison governors, both had doctorates, and they said when they went for an interview they had to justify why they had a doctorate. It wasn’t a question of ‘thanks for coming’ but ‘why do you want to be part of the prison service?’

EM: You’ve got form then? DM: I’ve been inside more than one prison. I’ve certainly been inside police cells as a trade unionist in the 1970’s. I was briefly detained by the apartheid police for working with black trade unionists in South Africa and to some extent when you are in parliament there is the same kind of incarceration feeling. So I found it strange and unusual but not frightening and, after all, I was 65 years-old and I don’t think there is much left that can really surprise me. EM: What was it like being locked up in Belmarsh? DM: It was the day before Christmas Eve 2013. The judge had deliberately delayed the case, in my view, to get the maximum amount of publicity. He is a top Old Bailey judge and seems to love sending so-called ‘celebrity’ people to prison. It was pretty mean and lonely but I didn’t have to buy any Christmas presents, I didn’t have to worry about putting on a Christmas turkey, I didn’t have to worry about drinking too much so there’s the ups as well as the downs. EM: In your short period of time when you were at Belmarsh, who were the people that left an impression on you? DM: I think some of the professional criminals I met - I mean I was genuinely interested in them. I formed what I call a symposium in the exercise yard in Belmarsh. You could only get access to it if you were doing a sentence of twenty years or more so they were quite serious gentlemen, so that was certainly a category of people I’d never come across in my life before. I was very impressed by the faith chaplains; there was a remarkable Polish Catholic Chaplain in Belmarsh, a Carmelite who had been working in England as a school teacher and then a parish priest and now a prison chaplain in a very tough prison. I thought he was truly impressive and then I talked to imams and other chaplains in other prisons and I found them all interesting. I would have liked to have got to know some prison officers better but they don’t want to engage with prisoners. I remember talking to one who was Spanish… EM: A prison officer? DM: A prison officer, yes. There are an awful lot of foreign prison officers because it is a very easy job to get in Britain, you don’t

Denis MacShane going to the Old Bailey


Dr Denis MacShane was one of five MPs sent to prison over the Parliamentary expenses scandal. Eric McGraw talked to him about what he learnt from his short period of incarceration require qualifications and if you go on the prison officer’s job application website, they make it very clear that all European nationals can apply with a good chance of getting accepted and this woman had wanted to be a police officer but had failed whatever test it was and there are quite a lot of prison officers as we know who were unable to become police officers or unable to do military service so they go into this particular job. I talked to her in Spanish and she froze up completely and said, ‘No, we must speak English, if ever I was heard talking Spanish to you the other staff wouldn’t know what I was saying and might think that we were doing some deal or I was favouring you’ and I found that sad because it was hard to get into the soul and mentality of what makes a prison officer. EM: We had a letter in recently from a former prisoner and he said he was standing outside of Bedford Prison and it had a big notice saying ‘ More staff needed’ and ‘No qualifications necessary.’ There has been a long debate about prison officers and why they only get three weeks of training. In Norway, for example, they get three years. DM: Look, it is the least professional of all the public services. Compared to health, police, schooling and the army, it is very poorly paid. They are now taking away the pensions that were part of the deal; you had not very good pay but you had a lot of time off for second jobs and you had a decent pension. Now suddenly that’s been removed and I met two or three impressive prison officers in there who were younger men who just said, I’m getting out of

here because of what they have done to pensions, there’s no point in staying. They have to leave their mobile phones outside, in Belmarsh there is no canteen for prison officers inside the prison so either they bring in sandwiches or they have to leave the prison because there is nowhere to eat at Belmarsh and, of course, a number of them do smuggle material in. Open prisoners told me they turn a blind eye to pretty crude deliveries of alcohol and so on. But you can’t blame them because they are poorly paid and there’s quite a gap between them and the so-called ‘governor class’ - the so-called ‘officer class’ and I was totally knocked out at the sheer lack of what I call internal discipline, the contempt that one low-rank officer would have for another, the contempt they would have for their superiors. I mean, if that was in the army or the police, all hell would let loose, but it’s a completely off-limit, unstructured, unsupervised world of prison officers. I don’t criticize them particularly but they are there simply as traditional warders to keep you in prison not to rehabilitate or re-educate or turn a man who goes in as a criminal into a man who will never commit a crime again when he leaves. EM: The Home Affairs Select Committee have been chewing over this particular point, haven’t they, wondering whether they should have some kind of educational qualifications or not? DM: You’d have to pay them real money and we have a government - not just this government - which has obviously imposed wideranging cuts of up to 30% on prison officer

DM: Look, the Prison Service obviously, at a Senior Managerial level, is an interesting job for sociology graduates, some with very high qualifications and there are very impressive individual prison governors that one has heard about. I think Ken Clark’s brother was, for example, the governor of Holloway at some stage. I never met the man in Belmarsh but Governor Tullett of Brixton I thought was a serious public service professional - I didn’t think he really knew what was going on at the lower levels, but then who does know what happens at the lower levels of any bit of the public service. I mean no hospital Chief Executives have the faintest idea what‘s happening in the porters’ delivery area, so … and you can understand why people with sociology degrees want to apply intellectual formation to actually running the thing if they can actually run things so then you do get people like John Podmore and others who come out of the service and say it is absolutely bloody awful but of course they are not allowed to say that because they want to keep their jobs. EM: In your book I think you refer to the over-use of prison. Did you see evidence of that in your travels? DM: Well, I just thought there were so many people in prison who didn’t need to be there. There was one hapless Iraqi who’d come and had full status to be in Britain and was renting out some rooms and had a fight with some Romanian workers who smashed him in the face. He showed me the great bloody hole in his teeth and when the cops arrived they arrested him and not his assailants. And his English was poor and he was given the duty solicitor and when he rang the duty solicitor’s number it was the police station which answered so I was drafting him a letter to take to his next magistrate’s hearing and the magistrate said, ‘Well, if they’d told me all this, I’d never have sent you inside’. And there are so many people who are there - one young guy in for five weeks for throwing a stone through a window somewhere - a working class person and the cops are working class people - this is all about order, it’s not about justice and criminality otherwise there would be a lot more bankers inside prison. It was preposterous. About 40,000 prisoners, they are on remand because the justice system is so slow, the judges are just unable to work at the same rhythm as other professions do and discharge cases and Lord Neuberger in the present Supreme Court said there was no point in keeping people in prison, sentencing people to prison for six months because a six month sentence is too


Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org short to allow any rehabilitation or re-education. But it is very expensive as it takes people out of their jobs, out of their community and causes real damage. Lord Neuberger, the boss of the Justice Service, do the judges listen to him? No. And the trouble is in prison you get the feeling of everybody putting a finger up to everybody else. The prison officers put a finger up to the governors and everybody puts a finger up to the politicians. And I think the symbol of the entire prison and judicial system might well be either the old fashioned English two fingers, or just one finger in the air because everybody within it treats everybody else within it with a degree of contempt. EM: If you were the Minister of Prisons, what would you expect to do in your first year? DM: I would try to see my opposite numbers in the opposition parties and say ‘Can we form a truce, we will not slag each other off saying you are soft on crime, there are too many people of this category or that category, you are on the streets, you should be in prison.’ Nick Clegg has got a conviction as a convicted arsonist. Should he have gone to prison? Of course not. There are 9 million people with convictions of one sort or another and I well remember as an MP, if there was a horrible motor car accident and somebody was killed or there was just some casual violence in the street or a bit of vandalism, everybody wanted everybody to go to prison. The Labour guys all want every tax dodger and probably all the bankers who destroyed the economy in 2008 to go to prison. The Conservatives want everybody who is cheeky and disrespectful and spits in the street and causes a little bit of fear and worry to old ladies to go to prison. We can put a million people in prison, two million people in prison. But it won’t serve social order and it doesn’t serve justice. So the biggest challenge we have, I think, is making sure the public know there is a punishment, making sure the person convicted of a crime knows that he or she is suffering a punishment. We certainly don’t need to put so many people in prison. We’ve got 4,000 women in prison and according to every study I’ve seen and every woman prisoner I’ve spoken to, 3,800 of them could be at home tomorrow. EM: Can I just ask you, what is your view on votes for prisoners? DM: In Switzerland where I worked for fifteen years, they have had votes for prisoners for four decades and the whole Swiss criminal or political system hasn’t fallen in. In France, what they do which I think we could use in Britain, is the judges for longer sentences add a sentence of loss of civic rights so you are sent to prison for three years or five years and you lose your civic rights during that period. That satisfies the European Court of Human Rights. This is an artificial row created by the anti-European forces in society who would like to pull out of Churchill’s greatest creation, the European Convention and the European Court of Human Rights. Inside prison, it wouldn’t make any difference, I think there is pretty much zero interest in politics. I was constantly asked what the name of the Prime Minister was, they had never heard of David Cameron. Ed Milliband, I mean Ed might as well be a press attaché to the North Korean Embassy, he’s utterly unknown. The only politician they’ve heard of was Tony Blair; Margaret Thatcher was now in history like Churchill or Gladstone. One of them in Brixton kept calling me Mr Blair, ‘You all right, Mr Blair?’ …

EM: Better than Ian McShane, maybe… DM: Yes, better than the name that the Belmarsh prison receptionist gave me. But to go back to the political thing, I think it is wrong if you are not convicted that you should have any of your rights removed. I doubt if one in two hundred prisoners would bother voting. I did give a talk about politics and parliament in Brixton which was quite well received. This was when I was inside. EM: But you went back recently? DM: I was there yesterday, I’ve been back to Brixton two or three times to see my cell mate. People enjoyed it - I did ask some prisoners, some Muslim prisoners actually asked me to come and give a longer talk about politics and I asked the wing manager and wrote it all down on paper and she wasn’t - she didn’t say no but absolutely nothing happened…

“ I think the symbol

of the entire prison and judicial system might well be either the old fashioned English two fingers, or just one finger in the air because everybody within it treats everybody else within it with a degree of contempt ”

EM: She didn’t say yes either. DM: Well, the point in prison is that you spend so much time asking for something, writing it out, things on paper, it’s called ‘applications’ and when after a week or two you politely ask ‘What’s happened to my app?’ as it’s called in prison slang, they say, ‘Oh put in another app’ so you are putting in another piece of paper in writing to ask what happened to your last bit of paper in writing and that is what the prison system does. It just absorbs perfectly reasonable requests for prisoners. They are not denied but it just gets lost. And prison officers openly said, ‘Yes, you can send an app into the governor, put it in the box and nothing will happen.’ So if they are that cynical, how do you expect prisoners to believe it is a well run system? EM: I asked about the votes because I remember Sir Peter Lloyd who was a former Minister of Prisons, said that he thought it was a good idea because it would make MPs more interested in prisoners and going into prisons. DM: I think it would be excellent. I think the idea of a hustings for MPs in prison if they did have the vote, would be absolutely spot on and I am sure one of the charities could easily organize it and have questions and answers and you could always get the individuals who are always moaning about their individual story. Prison does give you a lot of time for


thought. It is impressive to see the guys doing their Open University courses and writing very fine poems and short stories and novels. So yes, actually from that point of view, I to my shame, eighteen and a half years as an MP, I never visited a prison in Britain; I visited them abroad and I didn’t have one in my constituency which sometimes makes a difference. But yes, if I thought there were a few votes in it, I’d have been in there like a shot…

Lords. They can all claim £300 a day without doing anything but sign on, there are other allowances that are dubious and a lot of things were exposed but the Lords, let’s just say, like the Commons, threw a protective arm over its people in nearly all cases.

EM: We did a Prisoners’ Survey at the last election to see where the marginal seats were and where the prisons were located. There were some MPs who only had a few hundred majority and the prisoners vote may well have changed that.

DM: Yes, that she didn’t live in. It’s a well known case. The best way to solve that is to have a seven year limit for members of the House of Lords, the best bit, of course, would be if they were elected because the rest of the world cannot understand why we have part of our parliament and the House of Lords initiate laws but it is less democratic than the North Korean Assembly. And if you must keep an appointed one, at least put them in for seven years or ten years and then that’s a way of getting rid of them.

DM: They could have made a difference. As I say, my own impression was that there wasn’t a lot of interest. I was talking to one prisoner and asked how he voted, BNP? Because he’d been quite right wing. And he said, Nah, UKIP, they are the only party. And then they’d ask me, so which party are you from, Conservative? And I’d say, No, Labour and they’d stick their thumbs up and say yes, that’s us. That basically is the working class response. The funniest prisoner was almost the first day I went into Belmarsh, and he asked, ‘are you that MP then?’ so I nodded quietly and he said, ‘do you mind me saying, you must be the stupidest effing MP because you are the only one that didn’t nick anything and yet you get sent to Belmarsh, and all those thieving guys filled their boots with money from the MP’s expenses fiddles and got off Scot free. How come?’ And I said, ‘Well, you’ve made the case better than I can …’ EM: Well, I was going to ask you about that. There were only five MPs, weren’t there, who ended up doing time? But wasn’t there something more than 300 MPs who were being investigated? DM: There were 317 complaints to the Parliamentary Commissioner in the summer of 2009 when the MPs’ expenses thing blew up and let’s not forget that the reason it blew up was because a thief stole a disk and sold it for a quarter of a million pounds to a newspaper. It is going to take another twenty years before people have any confidence in the Commons as an institution and particularly when they know that so many MPs made spectacular amounts of money, but since MPs decide themselves the rules by which people are investigated or prosecuted, obviously you couldn’t suddenly start sending half the Shadow Cabinet to prison. In my case, I was never interviewed by anybody in the House of Commons, never once, it was sent to the police, they investigate for twenty months, they cleared me but then came back to the Commons and let’s just say that political people who aren’t exactly my friends decided that they could Destroy Denis, which I understand. I mean, all’s fair in love and politics. I’m a bit cheesed off that having been cleared by the CPS, the then CPS executive decided to prosecute me but again, that’s life. EM: I seem to remember, there are a couple of members of the House of Lords who didn’t go to prison, but who actually got rid of quite a lot of money … DM: There are unbelievable scandals in the Lords, it’s like the European Commission, it’s utterly unelected except there are only 28 Commissioners and there are nearly 800

EM: But there was one Baroness and a Lord who claimed huge amounts of money for a property they never lived in.

EM: So how the authorities dealt with the expenses scandal seems to have been accidental and arbitrary. DM: Completely accidental and utterly arbitrary. I mean, it depended upon the authorities in parliament when they refer a case to the police, it depended on whether the police wanted to carry out their own investigations, it then depends on whether the CPS think the person is a big enough celebrity to get some publicity to authorize a prosecution. Yes, 317 complaints were laid, mine was from the BNP because I had written about them as anti-Semites in the book I wrote so they hated me and some bureaucrat in the Commons decided that I was an easy case to prosecute. Jennie Russell in the Times said if I’d filled in the forms differently I’d have been okay. I didn’t make any money, I was investigated by the police and was in the clear. This is all me moaning but at the end of the day I did something I shouldn’t have, I accept that, and you just have to get on with life. EM: Finally, I just wanted to ask you if you read Inside Time in prison? DM: Yes, Inside Time was a lifeline, I enjoyed it very, very much, it is very extraordinary, at one level you are very much in touch with news in prison because you are watching so much TV and you can listen to the radio so I was perfectly well in touch with what was happening on the outside, and at another level, the prison notice board and news system is appalling. I mean, there were notices in Brixton that dated from 2010, signed by a governor who had long since retired and no way of explaining suddenly there was a lock down so you couldn’t get out, there had to be a perfectly good reason for it but it would be helpful to have a little announcement or perhaps a notice the next day saying, sorry about the lock down last night, we had to take someone to hospital under urgent conditions, staff had to be allocated and therefore there weren’t the staff there to keep the cells open. Prison Diaries by Denis MacShane. Published by Biteback Publishing 2014 RRP £20 (hardcover)


Christmas Messages

Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

To my A9032AG, Happy Christmas, I love you today, tomorrow and forever! Yours always A9306AK Joshua Newcombe, I love you soo much baby boy xxx Can’t wait to see you, can’t believe we’re not spending this Christmas together c Gonna feel so lost without you x We love you baby xxx Love Chelsea and ReeceKayne xxxxxxx

Christmas Messages

Aidan, missing you so much, hope Xmas is good to you, see you soon love Rainbow x Emma, here’s to hoping you have a good Christmas despite where we are, I’ll be thinking of you as always, all my love, your hubby Matt x Sparkles, you moved from Neath to Swansea. My first and last love, no Potters Wheel for you! Five Star Only! Merry Christmas Gorgeous. Twinkle xxxx Merry Christmas to the one that rocks my world! Here’s to 2015 and many more Christmases to come. Love you Kristian from Louise x Liam hold in there and don’t give up, I’m always thinking about you and love you so much. Merry Christmas lad, Love Mum xxx My little Swamp Duck, Merry Christmas, you’ll be home soon and laughing again. My thoughts are with you, keep safe, keep well. Luv Funny Man xxx Happy Christmas baby girl. Thinking of you wishing I was next to you right now. All my love always your wifey Vicky xxxx

© Coloures-pic - Fotolia

you lots, your girl always, Lou xxxx

love Danielle, Paige and Lacie

Merry Christmas babes, always thinking of you, not long now stay strong coz you know you are soldier, love you Sissy Girl

Merry Christmas Damon, I miss you so much! Wish you could be here with us. Love you always Sam xxxxxx

To my hubby Simeon, Merry Xmas baby, another year done to being back in your arms where I belong, I love you so much it hurts. Mwah, love your little Honeybee Ellie xxxx

To my wonderful son Damon sending you lots of love this Christmas so wish you were here with us love & miss you loads Mum

Happy Christmas Simon and Graham in HMP Stafford, hope you have a good one, lots of hugs and kisses, Claire & Carley Luv ya xxxxx David, I just want you to know even though we’re not together this Christmas, you’re still always in my heart and thoughts, love you always Tracy xxx Ellie we’re all here for ya n luv ya, u r our rock, av a gr8 Christmas & New Year love Simeon, Farrah, Corsa, Harley & Shay!!!

© Kzenon - Fotolia

Merry Christmas Steve, not long now babe and we will see what 2015 brings us, can’t wait sexy, Love Sissy Girl xxx Happy Xmas to the best Daddy and Fiancé in the world, all our love Gail, Josh, Megan. Love you loads and loads xxxooo To my darling Andrew, Happy Xmas my lover, friend & soul mate, here’s to our new year love from yours forever you love Princess Tammy xxxx Merry Christmas my pen lover, I wish I could be wrapped up in tinsel and under your Christmas tree for you to open, Love Angie xxx Merry Christmas Tony boy, always thinking of you, remember what I told you when we get out, we are going abroad for real, love Sissy Girl x David, of all the precious things in life, however great or small, having you as my husband is the greatest gift of all, love Dieter To Mum have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year, miss you loads and thinking of you, lots of love your son Carl xxx Stephen M, wishing you a Merry Christmas and a joyful new year to come hoping to make memories in future with Twinkle. Xxx Love and best wishes, Michelle S Craig Happy Christmas my darling, we will all be together again for Christmas. Lots of love stay strong Legs, George, Jack and Oscar xxx To my big man Evans, Happy Christmas! Another Xmas closer to you coming home! Loving & missing

Sue, thinking of you at Christmas time, and all year round, this time next year we will all be reunited xx keep strong, Jon & Stef xx Mitch another year done! Cannot wait to spend Christmas together, 2017 our year baby! I love you with all my heart, love you always & forever babe, your wife Kayla xxx Carl, we won’t be together this Christmas, just remember I’ll be thinking about you. I love you more than words can say, your Mumski c xx

Happy Christmas Wayne, we wish you could be at home with us, we will be thinking of you, all our love, your wife Claire and daughter Chelsea xx Promise to have a drink for you Jamie. Love you loads. Lots of love, from your NANA xxxx

To Bob, just thought we’d wish you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year, we can’t wait to see you when you get out and the Chinese & drink is on you haha! We are all thinking of you, keep smiling and get in touch very soon. Love from Michelle, Kevin & Kids xxx To Neil, I will be thinking of you at Xmas time. I will send a Xmas card for you, love Margaret xx Damon, we both miss you bro, don’t get too drunk in there! Always thinking about you! Love ya mate hilly and bash xxx Miss and love you millions, thinking of you, Mum and the gang xxxx Hi Chris, hope you can get your hands on some hooch and have a really Merry Christmas. Well that’s my plan anyway, Chopper Churchill

To my big brother Damon wish you were here for Christmas I love & miss you so much your little sister Holly xxxx To my big brother Damon missing you loads & really wish you were here with us for Christmas love you so much love Brayden xxxx Damon, Xmas won’t be the same this year but try have the best possible one keep your head up love you lots from Kristie xx To Damon you should not be where you are wishing you a Merry Christmas love from Grandma Dawn & Grandad xxxxx Wishing you a happy Christmas, Love to you always Jay, Jess and Chloe xx © Melpomene - Fotolia

© DoraZett - Fotolia

Michael Jones, 14 years boo yet still I love you more today than yesterday but less than tomorrow, Happy Christmas love Nadia Jones xxxxxx My soul mate my best friend, it’s been a long road with many hurdles along the way. We have stood tall and stood together. Looking forward to our day on the 01.09.15 New life, new start. Laughter to share together forever, for eternity when we rest our heads in the bright sunshine. Happy Christmas never separated again from your family. Noah Dylan Charlotte Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Just a little Xmas message for the man of my dreams...Just think of next years and how happy we gonna be...Love ya and your presents are waiting for u at home...Your Jennifer xxxxx

You will be missed at the Dinner Table this Christmas, but we`ll raise a glass to you. Love you round the world and back, Mum & Dad xxxxxx

My darling Bubba, not a single minute will pass my way this Xmas when I’m not thinking about you. You know I love you and that you are my world. Baby, you keep strong and remember we have many more Xmas’ ahead to spend together xx

To Lisa Saunders (Teardrop), thank you for the support you have shown me these last few months, you pick me up, you make me laugh when I want to cry, you are great company. I couldn’t have done this without you. Let’s do what we can to make this Christmas a special one. Love you lots from Karen, B Spur x

To Damon Christmas isn’t going to be the same without you I miss you & love you loads your little sister Nicole xxxx

Merry Xmas little bro, sorry I can’t be with you but it won’t be long till we’re both home, love ya Wayne xxx

Merry Christmas from all the family, most of all your daughter and fiancé, love you loads, Happy New Year, let’s hope it’s a good one x

To all in prison, Christmas will be hard but I wish you all the best, we can get through this, your fellow inmate Matt

Leon, I will never stop loving you no matter where you are. You are in my heart always, Happy Christmas and Birthday, Love Paul xx Thinking of my Sexy Hungry Bear, sending all my love always, your Naughty Lady xxx Of all the precious gifts in life however great or small, when you became my husband was the greatest gift of all, Happy Christmas, Love David Merry Christmas Daddy, miss you. Love Ava and Billi xxx Merry Crimbo to Sammy, Tammy, Lizzie, Amie, Max, Christy, Ali, Gramps, Dorris, Titch, Collette, Prilla, Kerry, Chan, Chloe, Tats, Liz & Sharon, love you all Roch xxx

Hi Bro. Who’s going to be Santa this year? Love you loads, Adrian, Sarah and the kids

Merry Xmas to Michelle, Claire, Leanne, Deanna, Charlotte, Wanda, K-Gray, Charlie, Kaya, Emma, Stacey, Sam, My Dad Vince, love you loads Emma aka Chipmunk

Hey Jamie, just wanted to say we miss you loads and loads, don’t worry Santa will save your presents hehe,

MERRY CHRISTMAS to my girls in Bronzefield and my mum Sue, love you all, Donna Princess Chalk xxxx

We have been inundated with messages this year especially those from people in prison to their loved one’s outside. Rather than see people missing out we have decided to publish in the newspaper only the messages to people in prisons and IRC’s etc. Messages to loved ones on the outside will now only be published on our website where space is not an issue and the closing date is not so critical. Christmas messages can be seen at www.insidetime.org on the home page.

Police and Crime Commissioner

Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org plays in supporting offenders in their efforts to avoid crime and rebuild their lives beyond prison.

Spotlight Police and Crime Commissioners In 2012 elections took place throughout England and Wales for 41 Police and Crime Commissioners to replace the Police Authorities. Commissioners with a variety of backgrounds and interests in specific issues were appointed to serve a four year term. They all produced individual police and crime plans to suit the needs of their respective regions and now, half way through their four year tenure Inside Time is in touch with them and looking to see how things are developing.

Commitment to reduce reoffending Simon Hayes Police & Crime Commissioner Hampshire & the Isle of Wight


n my Police and Crime Plan 2013-17, I made a commitment to reduce reoffending. As part of this commitment, I fully recognise the role that rehabilitation

In my plan, I state: “I know more than 60 per cent of frequent offenders who receive less than 12 months custodial sentence are back in prison within two years. The traditional approach to reducing offending, specifically the arrest, prosecution of offenders through the courts, and use of custodial sentencing, represents a huge cost to the public purse, while doing nothing to rehabilitate the offender. I want to work with criminal justice partners, agencies from the voluntary and community sector, and communities within our region, to explore alternatives to custodial sentences for youth and adult re-offenders. However, in the case of determined career criminals, the police should continue to pursue strong enforcement tactics. Two years after being elected, I have followed through on my pre-election commitment to reducing reoffending by funding a number of rehabilitation programmes. In October 2014, I visited staff and inmates at HMP Winchester prison to better understand the work of three charitable organisations that are benefitting from £110,000 of investment from my Innovation and Small Grants funding streams, to enhance their work with inmates to help reduce reoffending on release. At the prison, I also engaged with prisoners who are fathers separated from their children and who are supported by the Invisible Walls project run by Spurgeons. This project has the potential to significantly enhance the family relationships of prisoners and help deliver parenting support programmes that include targeted pre and post release support. I also spent time with the Footprints Project lead team who mentor men and women leaving

Wrongly convicted of a crime?

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The CCRC can look again If you think your conviction or sentence is wrong apply to the CCRC

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It won’t cost anything Your sentence can’t be increased if you apply You don't need a lawyer to apply, but a good one can help You can get some more information and a copy of the CCRC's Easy Read application form by writing to us at 5 St Philip’s Place, Birmingham, B3 2PW. or calling 0121 233 1473

prison or serving a community sentence in the Hampshire area. Their principal aim is to help reduce the risk of reoffending by supporting prisoners to re-integrate into their local community on release. I spoke to prisoners working in the Inside or Out restorative justice project, which is made up of selected prisoners who volunteer to meet with young people, either subject to a court disposal order or who have displayed anti-social behaviour within a community or school setting. The prisoners talk through experiences about being in prison and how it has affected them and their families. Through this engagement it is hoped that the young people they interact with make informed decisions not follow in their footsteps. In addition to these initiatives, I am investing in a unique Violent Offender Intervention Programme (VOIP) run by Baseline Training with £52,000 from his Community Safety fund. The VOIP is a rapid response assertive outreach service that works with Hampshire Constabulary’s Public Protection Department managing high-risk offenders and those leaving prison. Through its outreach programme, VOIP builds a support network between the offender and agencies such as housing, local authorities, alcohol services and prison-based resettlement drug and alcohol treatment services. It bridges gaps in services to ensure offenders, and those leaving prison, are accessing mainstream services that help reduce reoffending. The difference this work makes to individual offenders is significant and partner agencies are calling for an expansion of VOIP across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. I am currently considering this proposal, fully recognising the critical support VOIP provides offenders and safety in our communities.


In addition, I am also supporting two innovative early intervention approaches which are designed to divert offenders away from the criminal justice system and prevent future offending. The Victim Awareness Course has been developed with the support of the national charity Victim Support and offers a 3 hour awareness raising educational course for low-level offending behaviour. The intention is to educate and encourage reflection over the impact of criminal behaviour from several dimensions; the victims view, wider society and personal implications. The Community Court project has been introduced in the Fareham and Gosport area. This ‘Court’ is an idea brought across from the USA and involves young offenders engaged in low level criminal behaviour appearing in front of a specially trained group of young people of similar age to the offender. The offender is held to account for their behaviour and an agreed outcome is determined by the group with the aim of seeking to restore harm and educate the young offender. Whilst only two years in existence, as Commissioner I have been able to support and introduce several new initiatives aimed at reducing reoffending. I am looking forward to continuing to use my influence as Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and as a full member of the Local Criminal Justice Board to work constructively with the criminal justice system to improve outcomes for both victims and ex-offenders. Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire St George’s Chambers | St George’s Street | Winchester | Hampshire | SO23 8AJ [email protected]

Medical or Dental Negligence? You are entitled to the same level of treatment in prison as you would receive outside.

Call us if you have experienced: · · · ·

Delays in treatment Withdrawal/reduction of medication Missed diagnosis Delayed or refused a referral to a specialist

Free initial advice on any accident, including: · Falls from your bunk · Slips and trips · Accidents at work

Attwood Solicitors can help you claim the compensation you deserve! We can deal with your claim from start to finish.

Tel: 0800 145 5105 Email: [email protected] Write to: RSSU-GCXH-SJLG 5-7 Hartshill Road, Stoke on Trent. ST4 1QH www.attwoodsolicitors.co.uk Attwood Solicitors are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, SRA Number 420723

investigating alleged miscarriages of justice Insidejustice

Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org


The first Miscarriage of Justice The amazing and unreported case of Tony Stock said he was making it up. In particular, Lord Justice Judge thought that the supergrass’s description of his gang’s return journey was ‘outside any possible contemplation’, so utterly illogical as to completely blow his credibility.

Jon Robins Author


ollowing a three-day trial in July 1970, Tony Stock was sentenced to 10 years for his part in a violent armed robbery in Leeds. The then 30 year-old father of four did everything he could to protest his innocence. When he was in HMP Gartree, there were roof top protests and a 93-day hunger strike. “When they used to lock me up at night, everything would be quiet,” he recalled. “The prison warden would come down checking the cells rattling the key, I would think: ‘Christ, this is it. They’ve come to let me out.’”

The year after that failed appeal in 1996 and the Criminal Cases Review Commission opened for business as a result of the Birmingham Six and all those other scandals. The Commission had unprecedented powers which meant it could compel documents to be produced. It obtained a 1979 internal report by West Yorkshire Police into the alleged perjury of the investigating officers. This was an internal investigation never meant to see the light of day. West Yorkshire Police accepted the truth of the supergrass. Such was the detail provided by the supergrass that it ‘inevitably casts doubt’ on the safety of the conviction. The police had no problem with the gang’s return journey.

Tony Stock never did stop fighting. His case was to go before the Court of Appeal on four separate occasions and once to the European Court of Human Rights. It was until recently the only case referred twice to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. When I last met Tony three years ago, he was a 72 year-old grandfather spending his pension on a private investigator trying to unearth evidence in relation to a crime that took place over four decades ago.

seen as another ex con trying to jump the compensation gravy train.

“I would have been the first of the miscarriages of justice,” Tony once told me. “Then there was a spate of cases: the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four and the Cardiff Three. Each one was another nail in my coffin.”

But the original prosecution case against Tony Stock was always a castle built on sand: a single and highly controversial identification based upon a two to three second sighting of one witness on a dark night. The identification was made by the one witness at a staged confrontation. The one witness was driven 72 miles from Leeds to his house near Middleton and there was a stand off between the two police officers and an irate Tony Stock. All four made the return journey (in a two door Mini Cooper) and Tony was interviewed and alleged to have made a series of nonsensical self incriminating statements.

All those shocking cases which so scandalised the public ironically diminished the prospects of success for his own fight. The press was never much interested in Tony Stock. He was

Almost immediately there were concerns about the safety of the conviction. Tony wrote to the human rights group JUSTICE from prison. On the strength of Tony’s letter, the group’s first

Tony Stock died on November 29 2012. He spent 43 years fighting to clear his name in a case that has been described by the Labour MP Barry Sheerman as ‘one of the most outrageous miscarriages of justice in modern times’. He always claimed that he had been fitted up by corrupt police officers.

Parole Board Hearing? IPP, Lifer, Standard, Licence Recalls. Independent Adjudication? Sentence Wrongly Calculated? Oral Hearing? - Tariff Reduction? Appeal against Sentence or Conviction? Second Appeal through the CCRC? The above issues are still covered under Legal Aid! So if you need help get it from dedicated London based Prison Lawyers, helping prisoners fight for their rights throughout England and Wales.

Write to Manoj Sharda, Office 226, 4 Spring Road, Ealing, London W5 2AA

Tel: 020 8123 3404

Email: [email protected] www.prisonlawsolicitors.org.uk Prison Law Consultant at Duncan Lewis Solicitors


director Tom Sargant rang up Tony’s solicitor who said, yes, his client had been ‘fitted up’ and, not only that, he had been badly let down by his own barristers at trial. By the time Tony left prison, the lead officer on the controversial investigation had left the force in disgrace. In 1979 it seemed as though a miscarriage of justice had been dramatically revealed. A leading member of a gang of East End armed robbers called the Chainsaw Gang admitted to the robbery. He turned supergrass and had 42 offences taken into consideration, including the Leeds robbery. But it would take 17 years for the case to come before the Court of Appeal. When it did the supergrass came to court under police protection to expressly say his gang committed the robbery and Tony Stock didn’t. The court did not accept his evidence. They


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Tony Stock’s lawyers tried to get hold of it ahead of the 1996 appeal, as had Tom Sargant before them. The CPS blocked them and cited public interest immunity. The lawyers challenged through the courts only to be told by the Court of Appeal that its contents were ‘either not relevant or not worth fighting for’. “If anyone seriously believes the Court of Appeal has reformed itself since the dark days of the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four, they should study the unreported and amazing case of Tony Stock,” wrote the campaigning journalist Paul Foot in Private Eye in 1996 after the failed appeal. The original case against Tony Stock was always “paper thin”, reckons Michael Mansfield QC who acted in the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four. “But whatever there was at the start was reduced to rubble over the course of four appeals.” The human rights lawyer acted for Tony Stock in appeals in 1996, again in 2004 but not in the final appeal in 2008. According to Mansfield, Tony Stock’s campaign illustrates the criminal justice system’s “serious reluctance and unwillingness to root out injustice”. “The importance of this relatively unknown case for the public is that it should be recognised and heeded for what it is: not just a massive blot on the judicial landscape but a blot which has haemorrhaged to become the landscape itself,” he says. A new application to the CCRC is being prepared to refer the case back to the Court of Appeal by his solicitor of over 20 years Glyn Maddocks and Ralph Barrington, a former head of Essex CID. Tony might not be with us but his fight for justice continues. Jon Robins is the author of The first Miscarriage of Justice: the unreported and amazing case of Tony Stock. With a Foreword by Michael Mansfield QC. Published by Waterside Press RRP £18.00



Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Away in a manger ... ... no crib for a bed It is the same every year and I know it will be exactly the same this year and there will be many thousands like it across the country. I am referring to the nativity play I shall attend this month.

'The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.' The parents always take great delight in capturing on camera those moments which will cause them (and perhaps the children too) to laugh again many years later. It will include, as it always does, the carol, Away in a Manger, which speaks of Jesus laying down His sweet head. It is easy to forget that about thirty three years later, with a crown of thorns on His head, Jesus laid down His life.

... thirty three years later, with a crown of thorns on His head, Jesus laid down His life. Most people are more comfortable with the picture of the baby Jesus in the manger, than that of Jesus on the cross. That is understandable for we are excited by a new life and fear the thought of death.

In sending Jesus into the world in human form, God was motivated by love. Jesus accepted His horrendous suffering and death willingly, knowing that He was taking the blame for all the wrong things we have done.

© honeyflavour - Fotolia

Words of John, one of Jesus’ disciples: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! ... 1 John 3:1 NIV-UK

Everyone who is a follower of Jesus is a true child of God. For them, Christmas is a very special time of great celebration. If you are not a Christian yourself and would like to know more about what it really means to be a child of God, please do write to us at the address below. I can understand that Christmas will be an especially painful time for those in prison and for their families. I pray that all may know God’s peace during this season and throughout 2015. John Phillips

If you would like to know how you can be a true child of God, please write to: BeaconLight Trust, PO Box 91, Banstead,

Why did Jesus have to die like that? If Jesus was truly the Son of God, why did God allow it to happen? Many people ask this sort of question. Yet, God didn’t simply allow it: He planned it.

Surrey, SM7 9BA

Christmas Stories Doug Heming Volunteer Prison Chaplain


t is a moment every parent dreads. The first Christmas that their child finally asks whether Father Christmas is real. That decision as to whether it is time to admit the truth, that it has been dad enjoying the whisky and the mince pies all the time, and that Rudolph’s red nose is as fabricated as the Christmas decorations, weighs heavy on the parents mind. It is a moment, and a decision, that raises important questions about the place of truth and myth, of fact and imagination, in the context of what we believe in. There has been a lively debate on our on-line forum which has included such questions as whether belief in God is like belief in Father Christmas. Some have suggested that perhaps we should ‘grow out’ of such beliefs when we start to deal in the ‘realities’ of the adult world. I want to suggest that we should never completely move on from ideas of myth and storytelling when seeking truth and meaning in life. Does ‘growing up’ mean we must rely only on facts and historical evidence in relation to what we view as real? Or do the childhood traits of imagination and fiction offer ongoing tools in a more mature thirst for truth? Do the words ‘truth’ and ‘reality’ mean the same thing? At Christmas we will definitely tell stories. We will tell stories of Jesus and angels and shepherds. We will tell stories of Father Christmas and reindeers and elves. The question which our on-line forum asks is whether lack of evidence for the historical content of stories means we should no longer keep telling them. My answer is that whether we can prove the facts of stories or not we should keep them alive.

Although I am a person of faith, the message of the first Christmas does not, for me, depend on the historical accuracy of the events as they are told. It is not factual evidence of a manger surrounded by donkeys and kings that inspires my belief in the important truth of a baby born into poverty yet cherished and loved by God. It is rather the idea that God’s presence is found in the marginalised and weak things of our world as communicated in this account of Jesus birth. If this sounds unorthodox then consider that there are lots of stories in religious texts that might not be based on historical fact. The use of stories, parables and koans in religious texts assumes for all traditions that truth can be communicated in fictional or mythical accounts. Religious belief accepts the idea that if a story or parable did not actually happen it does not mean it is holds no truth. And this is not unique to religious belief. Consider the secular example of Aesop’s Fables. Perhaps the best known of the fables is the story of ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’. The race between these two animals never really happened, but we accept that it communicates a ‘truth’. Sometimes it is better to take things slow and steady if we are to succeed. This then is why we do not, and should not, give up telling stories at Christmas. It is not evidence of the facts of the birth of Jesus that matters (although those of many faiths and none accept that he was an historical figure). It is rather the ‘truth’ found in the birth of beauty in hostile places; the experience of hope, against all odds; the heralding of perseverance and sacrifice which deserve to be re-told. It is in the re-telling, that such stories inspire and cherish such human qualities this Christmas. They are where the imagination and hope for a better future for us all are found.


Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Comfort and Joy

Happy Baby

Knees to Chest

5 breaths

10 breaths


by Lucy The Prison Phoenix Trust Much of the time, when we’re in pain - physical or mental - we look for something outside ourselves to feel better. I certainly do. But there is so much we do ourselves, that will make us feel more comfortable and costs no money! The yoga routine here, for example, may make you feel calm and at peace. It will also soothe lower back and abdominal pain, and is great for period pain if you can’t get painkillers or want to avoid them. You can do the whole routine on your bed, or on something soft on the floor. It is good to do at night, and will help you sleep. All the poses are held for a certain number of breaths. Breathe deeply as you count, and focus on the feeling of the air flowing in and out of you. Know that you are doing a good thing for your body and mind. You always have the capacity to make yourself feel better.

Pre bridge / Bridge Lie like this with your feet close to your bum. Push up with your legs and get your hips as high as you can. Hold for 5 breaths then come down gently. If you can, repeat this 3 times.

Goddess At least 10 breaths

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Thought for the day


Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

From over the wall

YOU EMBRACE THE NEED TO CHANGE. It is an individual decision. No one can force change in a person. The desire has to be there, but the only way I know how to influence those who see no other option, is to confront them with those who were there before them, and who found another path.

Terry Waite writes his monthly column for Inside Time

‘Strangely enough, when I received a Butler Trust Award, two of the three inmates who nominated me were IRA members. There was I, a representative of the British Government, and a protestant, being nominated by those who had been opposed to everything I represented. You could not write that story. No one would believe it.

Terry Waite CBE


here is little doubt that prisons in the UK are changing rapidly. Financial cuts are having a profound effect and despite the valiant efforts of many, a proper balance between punishment and rehabilitation has yet to be achieved - if it ever will!

Unfortunately these days politics plays too much of a role in prison. We are supposed to be there to turn peoples’ lives around, which certainly happened with that particular member of the IRA.’

Regular readers of this column will know that I have had a long association with the Prison Service stretching back over fifty years and during that time I have met and made friends with many prisoners and prison staff. I have many old friends who have now retired from the Service and who joined with a strong sense of vocation believing that they could make a positive difference for many prisoners. They had their disappointments but thanks to their patience, understanding and care, men and women who happened to fall foul of the law were helped to put their lives together and on release made a success of things. There is a worry amongst some older officers that today, given staff reductions, their role is increasingly being limited to that of being a ‘turnkey’. A job that allows little time for the personal contact that is so essential if rehabilitation is to take place.

© prisonimage.org

wrote to me. He is facing retirement shortly and was reflecting on the past years and the situation today. I quote from his letter: My agenda has always been the same since day one,’ he wrote. ‘What influences people to turn their lives around? Experience has shown me that there are as many answers to that as stars in the sky. Whether it is education, role models, family influence, age, the list goes on and on. But, there is only one magic bullet. The magic bullet is to get to know the man or woman and to encourage and support that desire to change. Sometimes it can be an overnight decision, at other times it is a slow drip feed of change. No matter how it comes it needs support, encouragement and above all trust. When one considers people like (here he mentioned the name of a

Recently an old friend, who has spent a lifetime as an ordinary prison officer and with whom I have worked on many an occasion,

well known prisoner) who change, it is sometimes met with anger from others who hold the beliefs once held by him. There will always be doubters about why they have changed. It is as though some feel disappointed that someone has changed. ‘Despite frequent requests to the prison authorities, it took me six years to get permission for (here he mentioned the name of another well know former prisoner) to come in and talk to the men. Had it not been for the governor at that time, and the head of the lifer section, whom I knew well, I doubt that I, as a lowly prison officer, would have ever achieved that goal without their support. It is as if we feel ashamed of our successes, and do not wish them to pass on the message. The message is simple, PRISON CAN WORK, IF

Thomas Horton LLP


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My real concern is that in the future there will simply not be enough able staff to have the personal contact that the above officer writes about. Larger prisons may make sense in the short term as they may be cheaper to run than several smaller establishments but are they able to offer the same personal relationships that are such an essential part of enabling people to straighten out their lives? I have my doubts. As I don’t think I shall be writing again before Christmas, may I wish you all as Happy a Christmas as possible. I spent several Christmas days in solitary but I survived, as I have no doubt you will. Keep cheerful. Until next month. Terry Waite was a successful hostage negotiator before he himself was held captive in Beirut between 1987 and 1991 (more than 20 years ago). He was held captive for 1763 days; the first four years of which were spent in solitary confinement.

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Family Welfare

Insidetime December 2013 www.insidetime.org

Prisoners Families Voices prisonersfamiliesvoices.blogspot.com Dad’s a lifer

Think before you comment

By Anonymous

By Anonymous

I am a 19 year-old Uni student and my Father is a lifer serving his sentence in the UK. He was sent to prison when I was 10 years-old and I cannot begin to tell you how my life was then. I was bullied at school, lost all my pals, me and my Mother moved areas at least five times because of harassment from both the public and the press and all in all, I grew up a lonely lad. If anyone knows what it is like growing up with a parent in prison and overcoming the obstacles that crime inflicts on children of prisoners it is me! Of course we cannot forget the real victims of crime because they too serve a life sentence and I cannot even begin to imagine their pain. When I was 10 years-old, I did not fully understand. All I knew was that my Father did something terribly wrong and that he went to prison. My family tried to protect me from the full story of what happened and looking back they did the right thing in my opinion. As I said, I am 19 now and have changed my surname by deed poll to try and move on. My Mother has since re-married and for once in her life is content and I am happy for her, she deserves the happiness after what she went through. My opinion on the public who think that offenders families are cut from the same cloth is one of astonishment. I was spat at in the street at 10 years of age by grown adult women because of what my Father did. What innocent 10 year-old deserves that? My address was published in the newspaper when my Father was arrested and charged. There were of course consequences surrounding the press’s decision to do just that because bricks and windows don’t exactly make good combinations when used in temper and anger! I still have my moments of depression not because my Father is in prison, but because of the flashbacks of what a 10 year-old child shouldn’t go through. I know what children of prisoners go through and trust me, absolutely more should be done to support them.

My brother has recently been sentenced and will be spending a while in prison. The person it has hit the hardest is our Mother who is in her 80’s and is frail at the moment. Her son was her blue-eyed boy and now she looks upon him as being dead because she will never see him again. She cannot travel to the prison due to ill health and God bless her I cannot see her being with us when he is finally released from prison. My Mother used to go to an OAP afternoon group just to get out of the house and mingle with others over a cup of afternoon tea and scones. She could only manage an hour but at least she managed an hour and socialized with others. The community centre is literally just around the corner from where Mother lives so it was a handy resource. Since my Brother has been sentenced and his crime in the local newspaper, Mum refuses to go to the OAP afternoon because she is too ashamed to go. I feel like my Brother through his selfish actions has denied Mum the last little bit of independence she had! Whether anyone likes it or not, he is to blame for putting Mum in this situation and this has affected her badly. I am fully aware that the victims of crime are those who are in the forefront of being affected and I am so sorry for anyone who has to go through the pain and heartache, but there are also other pairs of shoes out here that no one wants to tread either which are those of prisoners families who did not ask their family members to go and commit crime yet we are frowned upon like we too are criminals.

Persecuting The Innocent By Anonymous

I am writing to you on behalf of my neighbour who is a pensioner and a lovely soul. Since his son went to prison my neighbour has been targeted by locals in the area. They have

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thrown bricks through his window, thrown eggs at his door and spit at him every time he walks to the shops. My neighbour has done nothing wrong at all, it was his son who had and is serving time in prison for his actions. How can people judge someone and inflict so much pain on an elderly person who by the way served for his country and has been an upstanding member of our community? Yes the crime was an awful one his son committed and his Father (my neighbour) is paying the ultimate price for it which is not fair! My neighbour has stopped going out to the shops and isn’t sleeping. I make sure I pop round every day to make sure he is eating and I go to the shops for him. He is such a lovely gentleman and is absolutely devastated by what his son has done. The victims family even spat at my neighbour in court! I am very sorry for the victims family but they are out of order for penalizing an innocent man! The shame for him is enough without idiots frightening him to death in his own home. I just cannot believe the mentality of some people punishing someone innocent.

Heroin and prison By Anonymous

My brother was in prison for drugs offences and he was an addict too addicted to heroin. Me and my Mum couldn’t cope with his prison sentences and his drug habit because he was stealing from us all the time and put us through hell. The only thing we could do is walk away from him because he had been in prison 5 times and every time he came out of prison he would come home and make our lives hell. Anyway he went to prison last year and sorted himself out and did very well in the drugs rehab part of the prison. As soon as he was released he went and bought some heroin and injected it. He died instantly. The pain and grief me and Mum are going through is unbearable because we feel guilty that for a time we turned our backs. Please if anyone has been through this could you write in to the blog.


they may well be the ones that are serving a prison sentence, but what about the families that are serving their own sentences, spending hours making phone calls to legal firms and battling with probation officers. What I am basically getting at is the prison newspapers around do not actually cater for prisoners families which I find rather disappointing when we the families are the centre piece of our loved ones sentences. The prison newspaper Inside Time barely in my opinion features family issues. There should be a dedicated section in every prison newspaper for prisoners families in my opinion. Our loved ones may well be behind bars but it is us that is doing all the running about! Editorial note: We entirely agree with you Sandra and we would like to think we do our best to address the important issues you raise. We do in fact have a Family Welfare page and if we received more material we would consider expanding this. We also include other articles and letters that we feel would be of interest to readers inside and out. We can only select from letters and articles we receive from the families of prisoners but we can only publish these if they come in! They can come by post, email or via the website. Free copies of Inside Time are provided in all UK prison visitor centres and we have an extensive list of postal subscribers. Our free access website attracts over 400,000 visitors each month. Copies of each issue can be downloaded free of charge and any comments placed under the articles and letters we publish. Some of these comments are published in the newspaper for the benefit of our readers in prison who cannot access the website. We are always open to suggestions!

UK prison newspapers By Sandra

As partners, family members etc, of those in prison, it is generally WE that spend hours on our phones ringing solicitors and probation officers on behalf of our loved ones because as you know, prison phone call costs can barely give you a decent minute conversation. What annoys me, and it really does annoy me is that information concerning prisons is nine times out of ten aimed at prisoners only. Yes,



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News from the House

Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Parliamentary Questions Friend says, and we will make every effort to ensure that victims are informed as soon as possible.

House of Commons

Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent) (Lab): Can the Minister confirm that 200 sets of prison keys have been lost since 2010? Does he think that that is good prison management?

Prison Transfers

Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey) (Con): What steps he is taking to ensure that prisoners who have been convicted of a crime of violence are assessed before being transferred from secure accommodation to an open prison.

Andrew Selous: Regrettably, keys are lost from time to time. The largest loss was by G4S, so there was no cost to the taxpayer, but it is obviously regrettable and we do not want it to happen. We investigate fully and will try to minimise it as much as possible.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Andrew Selous): Progression to an open prison is never automatic; all prisoners undergo regular, mandatory assessments of their risk of escape or abscond, and the risk of harm to the public, and only those assessed as having an acceptable level of risk for lower security conditions can be allocated to an open prison. Gordon Henderson: I thank the Minister for that response, but there is another thing that I am concerned about. Sabul Miah recently absconded from Standford Hill open prison in my constituency, causing a great deal of upset to the family of the man he was imprisoned for viciously attacking, particularly given that the first they heard of it was when they were contacted by a national newspaper. Would it not be possible for the families of victims of violent crime to be notified immediately by the Prison Service when the perpetrator of the crime either is released from prison or absconds? Andrew Selous: I recognise the seriousness

Mr David Nuttall (Bury North) (Con): Is my hon. Friend as concerned as I am that when a prisoner escapes from an open prison the public are invariably warned by the police not to approach him because he is considered dangerous?

Surveys suggest that the Christmas turkey is no longer as popular as it used to be of the issue that my hon. Friend correctly raises. The offender absconded on 23 October. The victim liaison unit was informed of the abscond the next day and tried to contact the one victim who was on the victim contact scheme. They tried her mobile phone

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number several times but were unable to leave a voicemail. They had not been provided with an e-mail address so sent a letter at the end of that day. The offender was recaptured a week later and sentenced. However, I recognise the seriousness of what my hon.

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fight Humanity, Expertise and a Fighting Mentality

Andrew Selous: I understand the point my hon. Friend makes, but perhaps that is the standard advice given by the police on all occasions. I can tell him, however, that absconds and escapes have fallen by 80% over the past decade, so we have got better at this, but of course we will try to ensure that no one escapes or absconds. Mr Philip Hollobone (Kettering) (Con): What programmes are undertaken in prison to help prisoners modify their violent behaviour, and do they have to pass such courses before they are even considered for transfer? Andrew Selous: We are undertaking more

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News from the House

Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org detailed risk assessments than there were in the past, but my hon. Friend raises an important point. Members should be aware that the number of people sent to prison for violent offences has increased by 40% over the past decade. However, I have seen very good violence reduction programmes in our prisons and am looking to spread those as widely as possible.


Philip Davies (Shipley, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many prisoners have studied for a university degree whilst in prison in each of the last 10 years. Nicholas Boles (Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills): Most prisoners who study Higher Education (HE) in custody do so through the Open University (OU). Prior to September 2012, the costs of prisoners’ tuition were met from public funds in an arrangement that broadly mirrored the Grant arrangements for other part-time HE students. From September 2012, prisoners have been required to take out, and then repay, Tuition Fee loans in the same way as other learners. The OU’s additional costs for delivering in custody are met through a Grant from the Department. Table 1 below shows a breakdown of grant payments in each of the last 10 years. The costs of providing prison university education are found from a variety of sources and gathering the data could only be undertaken at disproportionate cost. Table 2 gives a breakdown of the number of prisoners studying towards an Open University degree whilst in prison in each of the last 10 years.

Table 1: BIS Grant payments to the Open University for additional costs for delivering OU learning in custody from 2005-06 Financial year 2005-06* 2006-07* 2007-08* 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14* 2014-15

* where indicated, the table shows available data on Grant funding drawn down rather than Grant available.

Table 2: Number of prisoners studying towards an Open University degree whilst in prison from 2004/05 Academic year 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14

OU students 1,128 1,392 1,482 1,562 1,739 1,882 1,809 1,875 1,385 1,117

England only / Information supplied by the OU


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House of Lords Parole

Lord Bradley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what arrangements are in place to ensure reasonable adjustments for people with learning disabilities who are released from custody on licence so that the licence conditions are (1) necessary, and (2) proportionate. The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): All offenders released from custody on licence are subject to six standard conditions. There are no exceptions. The standard licence conditions include requirements to keep in touch with their supervising officer, to seek permission prior to obtaining employment or moving address, and restrictions on travel outside the UK. It is also possible for additional conditions or restrictions to be placed upon the licence for example, to prevent the offender in question from contacting a previous victim, or from visiting certain locations or premises. Any additional condition must be justified as being necessary for the effective management of the offender in question, as well as being proportionate to the risk the offender poses. The process for requesting and approving any additional conditions is the same for all offenders released on licence, so that the supervising officer may have specific regard to any offender with learning disabilities. If the supervising officer who manages the


case considers that additional conditions are necessary and proportionate, they must request these of the Governing Governor of the releasing prison, or the Parole Board, whoever has responsibility for release in that case. The decision on whether to include such conditions rests with that authority. Lord Bradley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what arrangements are in place to ensure that, when a person with learning disabilities is released from custody on licence, the person understands (1) the licence conditions, (2) what is expected of them, and (3) the implications of non-compliance. Lord Faulks: All those due to be released on licence must have explained to them the conditions of their licence, what they are required to do upon release, and the implications of non-compliance. This is explained by a member of the prison staff prior to release, with the offender asked to sign their licence to confirm that they have understood this. It is explained again following release, by their supervising officer from the probation service responsible for managing their licence. These requirements are set out clearly in Prison Service Instruction 18/2014, and Probation Instruction 11/2014. In addition, the Ministry of Justice has produced an ‘easy read’ guide to licences to enable staff to explain the licence conditions to those who have learning disabilities in as clear a way as possible. These documents contain simple text and illustrations to help the understanding of an offender who may otherwise have difficulty comprehending the requirements made of them on release.

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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Over-tariff IPPs: an appeal for your stories David Wells Partner, Wells Burcombe Solicitors


wo years ago the then Justice Secretary announced that IPP sentences were being abolished. This was undoubtedly good news for those practising within the criminal justice system, but regrettably of no comfort to those serving IPP sentences at the time as the announcement was not applied retrospectively. This means that there are still thousands of IPP inmates left rotting in a prison system clearly incapable of addressing the rehabilitative requirements designed to reduce risk. But there are still criminal practitioners, like me, and others outside the criminal justice system who take a great deal of interest in IPP prisoners. One such person is a journalist from the BBC, Zoe Conway, who reported on IPP prisoners for BBC Newsnight earlier this year. She wishes to continue to highlight the plight of those affected by this most draconian sentence. She has visited and listened to numerous family members who report the daily struggles of inmates to access courses and to prepare properly for parole board hearings. She and I discussed the recent debate in the House of Lords which announced new government figures which show that 121 people sentenced before 2008 to a tariff of 12 months or less are still languishing in prison. 8 of them were given tariffs of 3 months, 22 tariffs of less than 6 months and yet they are still inside. She quite rightly stated that most people would be surprised and perhaps shocked by this. Indeed, one House of Lords Peer when he learned of the many inmates well beyond tariff said ‘how can that be justified.’ He is right. It can’t. Even the Justice Secretary who abolished the sentence two years ago described the sentence itself as a stain on the criminal justice system. But perhaps even more alarmingly, the man responsible for the sentence all those years ago, the then Home Secretary David Blunkett, told BBC Newsnight that the sentence had in some cases led to ‘injustices’

V ells Burcombe LLP Solicitors

and said ‘’I regret that’’. He also told Zoe Conway, in her interview with him, that the Labour government ‘’got the implementation wrong’’. He acknowledged that the problems with access to courses and the serious lack of resources generally was not foreseen. That statement alone is nothing short of shocking. IPP sentences were to be reserved for only the most seriously violent and sexual offences. It was anticipated that this would affect about 900 prisoners. In 2011 there were 6000 IPP inmates. Now there are 5,500 and two-thirds of these are over tariff. So what can be done? Apart from continuing to consider appealing IPP sentences where this has not been considered previously, and focusing on parole and sentence plan targets as best as possible in order to support release, individuals like Zoe Conway, who have great influence in the media can help. What is her aim? Well, she wants to find out who these inmates are serving these shorter tariffs, why they are still in prison and whether they are able to access courses and parole board hearings. She would like to tell individual and collective stories for broadcast on national news. It is for this reason that I invite all such IPP inmates to write to me to share your stories. If you agree to share your plight with her through me, you can write to me and I will pass on your correspondence. You do not have to agree to have your name published or made public. You can simply share your story, the problems you have faced and obviously your own views on the position you face. For my part, my firm continues to do all it can to ensure natural progression and even release for IPP inmates. Wells Burcombe have enjoyed much success at the Appeal Courts and have enjoyed equal success before the Parole Board. Wells Burcombe continue to receive numerous enquiries from IPP inmates concerning Parole. Should you have a pending Parole review or wish for advice concerning appealing your IPP sentence, simply write to us at the address below.

01727 840900 24 hr Emergency Number - 07592 034170

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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Paperwork is the key! Terry Lock gives advice specifically for Lifers and IPPs on preserving paperwork for hearings


ince opening the prisoner helpline in this office every Saturday, I have been asked a 100 times “How do I get rid of my probation officer?” The simple answer to that question is you don’t, if you’re smart. Why? I hear you saying. Well it’s quite simple really, because the one that replaces them comes from the same office and would have been given a full run down on every single thing that you had done to cause the problem. YEP! You will be the problem not the probation officer. That is the way it works I’m afraid to tell you.

The Panel will never go against the Offender Manager, how could they? No panel is going to say we think you can manage his / her risk, simply because if they do get it wrong they would be to blame, and that can never happen. I have cases and have heard of many more where the person asking to be released has everything in place, the job, the house to go

prison they said I was not suitable to do that course, or they said, as soon as I completed that course I can apply for that down-grade? They look at you with that ‘computer says no’ look, and then repeat that weary old chestnut, ‘well it’s not in our paperwork, so we can only go on the papers we have!’ So instead of going mad you can just smile. You go back to the wing, get on the phone to your representative and say they maintain the file does not have the report / letter or whatever. Your representative then simply goes through the file, photocopies it and sends it along with a covering letter setting out the position. Yes it is that easy because the whole system works on paperwork. Over the many years they have been doing this job they realize that most if not all cons get the wrong letter response, screw it up and throw it in the bin. They almost rely upon that kind of response, it makes life easier for them, and they just say we have no record of this or that - counting on the chance that you won’t have a full and complete dossier.

If for a moment the problems that you are having would magically disappear then I would say sure, change them. However, I can absolutely assure you that your problems would only get worse, in fact just think about it, the probation service like to think of themselves as one big happy family keeping the world safe from the likes of you. A good many of them believe that Judges get it wrong and they don’t give long enough sentences. Once you are in prison they are the Judges, only they are wearing jeans and not robes. They have the same power as a Judge, in fact even more when you think about it. A Judge can only sentence you once the jury has convicted you. Probation officers are not restrained by that. You are convicted and they and they alone say when you are released as the Parole Board work on their recommendations. It is not the same for determinate sentence prisoners, but ISPs are a different kettle of fish. You must go before the Parole Board to be released and if your probation officer says that they cannot manage your risk in the community, then no matter how good your Solicitor/ representative is ... YOU’RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!


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to, stability, the support network, yet the Offender Manager says: I think more time is needed to show more learning points from the programmes they have completed. BANG! You’re doing another 12 months at least, or even worse if you are in closed conditions that could become 3 more years! So what’s the answer then? 1) You need to keep copies of every single piece of paper about your sentence plan. 2) You need to write NOT PHONE your offender manager. 3) You need to write to your Offender Supervisor (inside probation). 4) You need to send copies of everything to your Solicitor. 5) You need to do the courses. 6) You need to stop playing the gangster! I can almost hear you all saying THAT’S LONG! Yep it is, but not as long as another 1, 2 or even 3 years behind the door. The Probation Service, like all other Government agencies, is being cut so the probation officer you have right now will probably not be the one at your Parole Board.


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The Probation Dossier, that is the file held on you, is the most important document there is. So every time you write to your Offender Manager that letter should and must go into your file. Now I am not saying that it happens every time but that is the beauty of having a backup plan. That backup plan is your representative (ie someone who is legally qualified in order for them to collate and paginate your file). Each and every time that you write to your Offender Manager or your Offender Supervisor send the letter to your representative. They should photocopy it and send it on to the OM or the OS accompanied by a covering letter. That way you have a copy of everything, which is further supported by a letter from the firm. Your Parole does not start 6 months before the hearing - it starts the day you get sentenced. I cannot stress upon you all the importance of PAPERWORK! PAPERWORK! PAPERWORK! Your file will go through a dozen hands, a couple of prisons at the very least and a lot of personal officers. How many times have you stood in front of an office desk and said, hang on! In my last


We specialise in providing high quality representation for Parole Board Hearings. We also advise on Adjudications and Sentence Planning and Risk Reduction to help you prepare your case for release.

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The Parole dossier is made up basically of the Offender Supervisor, the Offender Manager and of course the Psychology Department. That’s it really, so you need to make that file work for you. Every time you get a negative drug test send it off to your representative, every time you complete even the smallest course, send it off to your representative! In the old days they had what they called your page 16. That has been replaced by P Nomis computer generated reports. Every time you get a positive comment ask for a copy. Now some officers will say “we are not allowed to give you copies”, this just is not true, you are entitled to have a copy it’s no different from your old page 16. Again, if your representative is on the ball he can sort it for you. You need to work your dossier, it needs to be full of completed courses and positive comments and the only way that happens is when you send it all to your representative. He will then (or should) send all positive reports off to the Public Protection Casework Section (PPCS). They will in turn send it off to the Parole Board who will paginate it and place it within the Parole Dossier. Don’t rely on the prison or probation to do it for you! Since the cuts brought in by Mr Grayling the Probation Service is in tatters. They are doing twice as much work with half the staff so some people are going to fall through the gaps. On average each Probation Officer has around 60 to 70 offenders to look after, it is impossible that they can collate your dossier with every single report that should be part of your Sentence Plan objectives. So do your best to get on with your OM. Make their life a bit easier by making sure every single thing that you do as part of your Sentence Plan is sent to them and make sure your papers are fully up to date and easy to follow. It sounds like a lot of work but let’s face it, getting into prison was a lot easier than getting out of it. So my best advice to you is this; get on with your Offender Manager as best you can, and remember that PAPERWORK is the key to the door of FREEDOM! Terry Lock is a former Category A prisoner, now a prison and criminal law consultant at Lound Mulrenan Jefferies Solicitors in London.



Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Adjudication - don’t let those days count against you Emma Davies, partner at Hine Solicitors, together with Luke Deal of the Prison Law Department look at the Independent Adjudication process and what steps you should take if you find yourself subject to it Emma Davies

Partner - Hine Solicitors


ith the Christmas season approaching it can be an unfortunate and untimely occasion to receive an independent adjudication. Such an adjudication could result in additional days being added to your sentence and may result in your release being delayed meaning that you may find you are not at home for Christmas or New Year. This article seeks to explain the process and what to do if you are subject to it, particularly at such an important time of year. THE PURPOSE OF THE ADJUDICATION PROCESS Most prisoners are aware that an Adjudication or “nicking” is what you are subject to if you have done something to put you in breach of the prison rules. These rules are contained in Rule 51 of the Prison Rules (Rule 50 for young offenders). These rules are also set out very clearly in the Prison Discipline Manual, also known as Prison Service Instrument (PSI) 47/2011. This

document should be made available to you upon your request or at least accessible in your prison library.

the 48 hour time limit then it is likely the charges will be dismissed by the Independent Adjudicator.

There are two types of adjudication procedures. Governor adjudications and Independent adjudications. Both of these procedures will start before a Governor at the prison. The Governor will then decide whether the charge should remain as a Governor’s adjudication or be sent to the Independent Adjudicator (who will be a District Judge). The main difference between the two procedures is the sentence that can be imposed. An Independent Adjudication will be for more serious offences and will mean that a prisoner can receive additional days on their sentence.

LEGAL REPRESENTATION If the Governor decides that a prisoner’s case is so serious it should be referred to Independent Adjudication then you should really consider whether to contact a Prison Law Solicitor as soon as possible. Legal Aid, subject to a means test, is still available for these matters.

HOW WILL I KNOW I HAVE AN ADJUDICATION? The adjudication process begins with a prisoner receiving a Notice of Report on a form DIS 1. This form is commonly known as the ‘nicking sheet’. The ‘nicking sheet’ must outline the charges being alleged and the time and date they are said to have taken place. It must also outline the time of which the DIS 1 form is given to the prisoner and this must be within 48 hours of the discovery of the offence taking place. It is crucial that these timings are checked, as if the form is served outside

Once a Governor has referred a matter to the Independent Adjudicator, the next hearing will be before them. It is important to note that this hearing must take place with 28 days of the Governor making the referral. If this 28 day deadline is not complied with then the Independent Adjudicator must dismiss the case. An Independent Adjudicator, as stated above, will be a District Judge who will come into the Prison every few weeks to deal solely with a long list of adjudications that have been referred to him/her. They will be eager to get through their list of cases as soon as possible and will want to conclude as many cases as they can on that day. On a practical note it is important to make sure that you have made arrangements for your solicitor to be at the hearing, as often an Adjudicator will not adjourn a case for a solicitor to be contacted or even wait for one to turn up who you know is on their way! In such cases you should make sure that you tell the Independent Adjudicator that you have a solicitor and you do not want your case to proceed until you have had advice from that solicitor. This is important if you feel you are being rushed into having your case heard, particularly if you know your solicitor is due to be at the prison to represent you. Some prisons are notoriously difficult to get into on days that adjudications are listed before the Independent Adjudicator so delays in solicitors getting in to represent you are likely!

Our open, friendly solicitors working in Criminal Defence will help you with all aspects of Prison Law including: Licence recall • Adjudications Parole hearings • IPP queries Judicial review • Sentence planning issues

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If you decide you want a solicitor on the day of your hearing the Independent Adjudicator will question why you have not taken the time to do this as soon as you were told your case was being referred to the Independent Adjudicator. Be prepared to explain reasons why and if the Adjudicator decides he is not happy to delay your case then ask if you can see a solicitor who may already at the Prison dealing with other matters. There should usually be someone present representing someone else, and they will normally be more than happy to help if asked. If any of these requests are refused and your case proceeds and you are found guilty, then this may be a ground to appeal any sentence imposed. THE ADJUDICATION At your hearing, the Prisoner, a solicitor (if instructed), Independent Adjudicator and the reporting Prison Officer will all be present. The Independent Adjudicator will expect a

plea to be entered. The reporting officer will then be required to give evidence which usually involves reading out what is in the ‘nicking sheet’. The Prisoner or Legal Advisor will then have an opportunity to cross-examine the reporting officer and call any witnesses to give evidence. If the witnesses are not available, or if further information or evidence is needed then an application should be made to the Independent Adjudicator for your case to be adjourned until these are available. The adjudication procedure is much the same as trial in Court, although it will seem to many to be a lot less formal than the Court process. If you plead not guilty to matters then the Independent Adjudicator must be of the opinion that any charges he considers are proven beyond all reasonable doubt before he finds you guilty. If he finds you guilty or you plead guilty then the adjudicator will proceed straight to sentencing you. SENTENCE If the charge is proven the adjudicator can impose an additional 42 days for each offence proven. This can make a substantial difference to the length of a sentence, particularly if you are very close to being released. This will be especially difficult to deal with if you were supposed to be released before Christmas or New Year. Before sentencing the Independent Adjudicator will be read a wing report and you or your solicitor, if you have one, will be given the opportunity to mitigate on your behalf and attempt to persuade the adjudicator that your sentence should be as lenient as possible. It is strongly advised that you seek legal assistance to ensure that this process is dealt with fairly. CAN I APPEAL? Findings of guilt by an Independent Adjudicator can only be challenged by way of Judicial Review proceedings. However, punishments imposed by the Independent Adjudicator can be challenged in writing to the Senior District Judge at the Chief Magistrates’ Office. Any application to the Chief Magistrates’’ office must be done within 14 days of the adjudication and if successful could result in a punishment being reduced or quashed entirely.

What you must remember is that the adjudication system can have a substantial effect on your sentence and your time in Prison. If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of facing an Independent Adjudication this Christmas you must remember that it is your right to have a Solicitor. If you need any help or advice with any prison law issues please contact the Prison Law Department at Hine Solicitors Telephone 01865 518973 or FREEPOST - RTHU - LEKE HAZR Hine Solicitors, Seymour House, 285 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7JF.


Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

“Someone remind me I once said, ‘Greed is good’ now it seems it’s legal” Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) in ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’.

INSIDER DEALING Information is everything Aziz Rahman, Solicitor and Jonathan Lennon, Barrister

Greed is Good There has long been a perception that the Gordon Gekko types have been getting away with it for years. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), replaced the old FSA and appear to be getting tougher on prosecuting these sorts of cases; in September 2014 the FCA obtained substantial confiscation orders following convictions in a major insider dealing case heard at Southwark Crown Court. The Law The modern law on insider trading is found in Part V of the Criminal Justice Act 1993. Section 52 of the Act provides that it is an offence for “an insider” to deal in “price-affected securities”. An ‘insider’ is an individual who has ‘information’ as an insider. The information must relate to particular securities (eg stocks and shares) or issuer of securities and be “specific or precise” and which has not been made public. The person gains inside ‘information as an ‘insider’ by virtue of his position in the company, director employee etc or by reason of some other employment or profession, eg an independent accountant advising the company. The defences are set out in s53 and include that the defendant “did not expect the dealings to result in a profit” or had reasonable grounds to believe “that the information had been disclosed” or that he would have “done what he did even if he had not had the information.” In addition there are four specified ‘special defences’ set out in Schedule 1 of the Act. Broadly speaking these are designed to ensure that the offences set in s52 do not affect practices which have always been regarded as legitimate, e.g. having ‘inside information’ which is also just “market information”. Market information basically relates to information pertaining to the acquisition or disposal of particular securities and/or the fact

that such transactions are under consideration or negotiation. Account is to be taken of whether the person was acting reasonably “despite having that information as an insider at the time” - these ‘special defences’ are simply broad and general allowing traders or buyers to plead that they were doing no more than using information properly and reasonably and not mis-using inside information. Investigations Prosecutions under the 1993 Act usually require the consent of the Secretary of State or the Director of Public Prosecutions; unless the SFO is involved as the case involves serious or complex fraud. The FCA’s primary role is to regulate - prosecution is an option but should be the last option. The Financial Services & Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) is the starting point for all FCA matters. The FSMA sets out, at section 188, seven types of behaviour which it regards as ‘market abuse’; this un-surprisingly includes insider dealing. However, a ‘market abuse’ matter may be regarded as a civil or a criminal matter (see s123) and representations can be made by suspects to try and push the FCA into the civil/regulatory route, rather than the criminal route, if appropriate. We have seen recently the FCA fining Barclays and RBS banks for misconduct in connection with LIBOR and EURIBOR submissions whist the SFO are prosecuting individuals. Further, the Serious Organised Crime and Policing Act 2005 provides powers, in some circumstances, for prosecutors (including the FCA and the SFO) to enter into immunity deals with suspects and be able to offer reduced sentences in return for co-operation. Once into this territory of course some delicate handling and very careful consideration is required. The FCA has its own systems for monitoring movements within the markets. The FCA’s figures showed that in the year end 2008, 53 out of 181 takeover transactions indicated an ‘abnormal pre-announcement price movements’ - i.e. just under 30% of the 181 transactions studied were announced to the world shortly after a sudden increase in the price of the company shares (see Compliance Officer Bulletin, Market Abuse, 2010).

But having a chat with a mate down the pub and getting him to buy shares that are about to increase in value is always going to be difficult to detect. That said the more trusted associates/family members that are involved the greater the risk of compromise. The reality is that often the situation is much more subtle with, for example, senior brokers who is legitimately in receipt of price sensitive confidential information in relation to, for example, an upcoming deal between two listed companies that will affect share prices. How that dealer deals with his junior brokers, how the shares are advertised, how other brokers deal with the same shares will all come into play in assessing whether the broker’s behaviour amounts to proper legitimate trading activity, abusive insider dealing or whether the ‘special defences’ in Schedule 1 of the Act applies (see above). Prosecutors would point to increased ingenuity on the part of those trading with inside knowledge. For example the use of so-called Exchange Traded Funds (“ETFs”). ETFs are basically funds which comprise of a bundle of securities including shares. ETFs will be bought and sold in the same way as simple shares unlike most conventional investment funds. Thus someone with inside information about company X can buy into an ETF that includes shares in company X and then short sell the other products - perhaps for a small loss. The effect is to hide the purchase of the shares because it is not purchased directly. The Future The FCA is in reality a revitalised FSA and has an increased appetite for prosecutions as does

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the SFO. Generally, since the LIBOR scandal and now FOREX investigations there is more of a willingness to prosecute the big institutional cases. Where that happens small cases too tend to get prosecuted rather than dealt with through a civil route. There will undoubtedly be an increase in co-operation both between UK organisations such as City of London Police and the FCA, but more importantly perhaps between the UK and foreign enforcement authorities. We predict that all these factors and the increase generally in the use of plea negotiation, as well as immunity from prosecution etc under SOCPA, all suggest that insider trading will become a much more common-place prosecution and that suspects on the receiving end will need to take early specialist advice. Jonathan Lennon is a Barrister specialising in serious and complex criminal defence cases based at 33 Chancery Lane Chambers,London. He has extensive experience in all aspects of financial and serious crime and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. He is ranked by both Legal 500 Chambers & Ptnrs & is recognised in C&P’s specialist POCA and Financial Crime sections; ‘he is phenomenal and is work rate is astonishing’ (2015). Aziz Rahman is a Solicitor- Advocate and Partner at the leading Criminal Defence firm Rahman Ravelli Solicitors, specialising in Human Rights, Financial Crime and Large Scale Conspiracies/Serious crime. Rahman Ravelli are members of the Specialist Fraud Panel and have been ranked by Legal 500 as an ‘exceptional’ firm with Aziz Rahman being described as ‘top class’’. The firm is also ranked in Chambers & Partners. Rahman Ravelli are a Top Tier and Band 1 firm.


Specialists in Defending Serious Crime Rahman Ravelli has built an enviable reputation as a leading criminal defence firm. Our Practice is nationwide and we have developed an expertise in handling substantial and complex cases particularly those involving difficult legal challenges, especially in the Human Rights area. We continue to successfully protect the rights of the individual in all areas of criminal law. We recognise that criminal cases today are not merely decided on eye witness testimony, but on other issues such as whether evidence can be successfully argued to be inadmissible or the prosecution made to disclose evidence helpful to the defence case. Our dedicated team of criminal lawyers are always up to date with the latest developments in the law to ensure that no stone is left unturned. The lawyers have wide ranging experience of defending cases of significant complexity and seriousness. Our reputation means that we are able to instruct the most able counsel to conduct trials. We appoint Counsel, Queen’s Counsel and Experts who have passed our vigorous vetting procedures. High Profile Cases Rahman Ravelli routinely deals with large, high profile cases and is experienced in dealing with criminal matters all the way to the House of Lords. RIPA Our speciality is defending cases involving large scale police operations where authorities have been granted under the Regulations of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA); i.e. The use of Informants / Covert Surveillance (including Covert Listening devices) / Undercover Offices; and Material which demands an expertise in disclosure & PII concerns


Legal Q&A

If you have a question you would like answered please send to: ‘Legal’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB. (including your name, number and prison) then the prison has no power to continue with the adjudication and cannot punish a prisoner for the matter. If having investigated the matter the police decide that they will not prosecute then the prison can still continue with the adjudication although there is guidance within the Prison Discipline manual to suggest careful consideration should be given as to whether this is necessary.

Answers to readers’ legal queries are given on a strictly without liability basis. If you propose acting upon any of the opinions that appear, you must first take legal advice. Carringtons Solicitors, Cartwright King Solicitors, Henry Hyams Solicitors, Hine Solicitors, Olliers Solicitors, Rhodes Law (Scotland), Rodman Pearce, Thomas Horton LLP Solicitors, Wells Burcombe Solicitors Send your Legal Queries (concise and clearly marked ‘legal’) to: Lorna Elliott, Solicitor c/o Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB. For a prompt response, readers are asked to send their queries on white paper using black ink or typed if possible.

JN - HMP Doncaster


I was caught with a mobile phone which I was placed on ‘basic’ for. They also sent the charge to the police to punish me. How can I get two punishments for one crime? It seems to me it should be one or the other. I have 28 days ‘basic’ and now the police will take me to court to add another 2 years on my 22 year sentence. I was told by a legal aid prison law solicitor that this is wrong. Please advise.


When a prisoner is caught with a contraband item the prison can adjudicate you and at that adjudication hearing determine that they are sending the matter to the police to investigate. If they do this the adjudication will not be concluded until such time as the police have made a decision as to whether to prosecute the matter. If the police decide to prosecute

Response supplied by Hine Solicitors

..................................................... GM - HMP Lowdham Grange


Whilst at HMP Lowdham Grange in 2010 I was downgraded to C-Cat and in the same year I voluntarily admitted myself to Medium Secure Unit in Leicester - whilst I was there I worked on my mental health issues for over 3 years, after this I returned back to Lowdham Grange. When I got back, my categorisation was B-Cat instead of C-Cat. When I queried this with my Offending Supervisor, she informed me that I would have to go through the whole process again. As a prisoner who is serving IPP, my C-Cat is important to my progress, what should I do?


As your enquiry relates to categorisation and progress through the system as a life sentence prisoner, ultimately, the matter is no longer work which can be undertaken through a prison law contract as this type of advice was removed by Christopher Grayling the Justice Secretary. In terms of the progress that you have made it may well be that the period in the medium secure unit has potentially increased your risk as far as your current establishment is concerned. I would advise you to pursue the matter through the COMP1 procedure. If you are dissatisfied with the response then I would advise you to submit a COMP1A for further clarification as to why in the circumstances it is necessary to hold you as a Category B status prisoner.


Shaw & Co

Inside Time Legal Forum

It appears from your letter that even though the prison reduced your status to ‘basic’ they did not actually punish you in relation to this matter. A prisoners IEP status can be reduced in relation to any negative entries made on the system but this is not a punishment in itself. In the event that you have concerns please ensure that you raise these through the Prison Complaints System and if you do not have a satisfactory response then refer the matter to the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

Shaw & Co will pursue your claim at no cost to yourself. We guarantee that you will keep 100% of all compensation awarded to you.

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As I have indicated, it may be as a consequence of being returned from a medium secure unit. Response supplied by Olliers Solicitors

..................................................... DL - HMP Whatton


I want to find out if it is possible to get probation to transfer me from Derby to Nottingham upon my release. I will have done 8 months inside and I’m also on an 8 month license.


If your query is in relation to a change of address, i.e. from a proposed release address in Derby to one in Nottingham, then this is possible, provided the address is approved by your Offender Manager. They will then need to undertake the necessary checks to ensure that your proposed release address is suitable. If you are due to be released to an approved premise, you will need to speak with your Offender Manager again to see whether a bed space is available at a Nottingham AP. Again, they will need to make the necessary referral if they agree that it is appropriate that you transfer to Nottingham. If your query relates to transferring from Derbyshire Probation to Nottinghamshire Probation, this again would only be done if your resettlement plan is based around Nottinghamshire. It is the responsibility of your Offender Manager to ensure that you have a workable release plan, so if there are any changes that you wish to be made, you should speak directly with them. Don’t forget that the main issue is the protection of the public, so if your Offender Manager feels that your requested changes are likely to increase your risk, the changes may not be approved. Response supplied by Hine Solicitors

..................................................... IO - HMP Bure


I am an IPP recall. I have been formally acquitted of the charge against me that led to my recall. My probation officer has said that he wants to add an additional exclusion zone to my license conditions to cover the town where my recall charge happened. As I was formally acquitted, can he legally do this? Surely if I wasn’t an IPP and would’ve walked free from court when my case was dismissed he couldn’t add another exclusion zone?

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Your re-release on licence will need to be considered by the Parole Board, and as you are an IPP prisoner your case will automatically progress to an Oral Hearing. The Parole Board will therefore have to consider whether your risk is such that they should rerelease you on licence once again. I anticipate from the information that you have provided that your case has not yet been considered by the Parole Board, and that the amendment to your licence condition is being suggested in a report to be considered by the Parole Board at your Oral Hearing, that will have been prepared by your probation officer prior to any hearing taking place. At your hearing the Parole Board will consider whether they should re-release you based on the evidence that they hear and have been provided with. If they feel that your risk is manageable in the community and they are therefore happy to re-release you, they must then consider what licence conditions you will be subject to on your release. Your probation officer will invite them to consider suitable licence conditions, one of which will be the exclusion zone; however it will be for the Parole Board to decide whether they feel that this is necessary. It is not unlawful for the Probation Service to request that you be subject to additional licence conditions, but the Parole Board must only impose conditions that are necessary and proportionate. I would suggest that you ensure that you have legal representation during your hearing, as your representative will be able to question your probation office as to why an exclusion zone is necessary in your case, particularly as you have been acquitted of the charge which led to your recall. They will then, based on your instructions, be able to make submission to the Parole Board inviting them to release you on conditions that are proportionate to your risk factors and should not include the exclusion zone. I must impress that each case is different and in order to properly advise you as to whether the request for you to be subject to an exclusion zone is disproportionate I would need much more information about the details of your case. It is therefore extremely advisable for you to contact a Prison Law specialist who can advise you as appropriate and represent you at your hearing before the Parole Board. Response supplied by Hine Solicitors


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If you have a question you would like answered please send to: ‘Robert Banks’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB. (including your name, number and prison)

Banks on Sentence Robert Banks, a barrister, writes Banks on Sentence. It is the second-largest selling criminal practitioner’s text book and is used by judges for sentencing more than any other. The book is classified by the Ministry of Justice as a core judicial text book. The current edition was published earlier this year. The book is available for tablets and computers and costs £80 + VAT. The print copy costs £102 on the web and there are regular updates on www.banksr.com. If you have access to a computer, you can follow Robert on Twitter: @BanksonSentence and you can receive his weekly sentencing Alerter.


I was sentenced for a drugs supply conspiracy. There were seven of us. The prosecution put four of us in a leading role. My barrister tried to go for significant role. The prosecution said, “You’ll have to argue it”. They also said one of the phones was attributed to me. Well I had used it but it was passed around. We went into court and the prosecution read out their case summary which included the roles the prosecution said we had played, and I was still in a leading role. The Judge then said those roles were his provisional view too and, with the prosecution egging him on, said that if anyone wanted to dispute them they would have to give evidence in a Newton. There was then a break for lunch and I saw my barrister. She said we should avoid a Newton hearing at all costs as we would not know what the prosecution was going to ask. She also said Newtons usually fail and if I had one I would lose part of my full plea discount. That seemed sensible. We went back into court and no one challenged the prosecution. My mitigation was mostly about my family and a prison report. My barrister only spoke for about six minutes. Nothing was said about my role, which meant the Judge took the Category 1 leading role and started at 15 years. With the plea discount, I was hammered with 10 years. None of the barristers said much and we were all chucked back downstairs in less than an hour. I had waited 10 months for my mitigation and nothing of substance was said. The police officer was just smirking. My barrister came downstairs and said there was no appeal, smiled a bit and left me high and dry. This can’t be fair. Is it lawful as I was walked all over?

Have your lawyers let you down? Do you want Robert Banks or Jason Elliott to represent you? Robert is a specialist in criminal appeals against sentence. Jason is a specialist in criminal appeals, trials and prison law. Contact: David Wells, Wells Burcombe, 5 Holywell Hill, St Albans AL1 1EU



Well it is certainly not fair and it isn’t the proper procedure. I call it the ‘Newton trap’. This tactic is very common now and very convenient for the prosecution and for prosecution-minded judges. I give this answer based on the facts in your account and, of course, I haven’t heard anyone else’s account. There are a number of issues here, so may I divide them up? Can the prosecution say what they think the roles are? They can say what their view is. However, they should give their reasons. I don’t know whether this happened in your case. Their view is only a suggestion and it is the view of the judge that matters. So what went wrong? What went wrong was that your barrister, and maybe other defence barristers as well, failed to address the Judge and the prosecution about two important matters. First, it is for the prosecution to prove factors adverse to you to the criminal standard of proof. That means the judge can only sentence you on the basis of a disputed significant fact put forward by prosecution, if he or she is sure that fact is correct. Put another way, the defence version of the facts must be accepted, unless the judge is sure that it is wrong, R v Ahmed 1984 6 Cr App R (S) 391. What appears to have happened in your case is that the Judge took the prosecution’s version and gave your barrister the task of disproving it. The defence do not have to prove anything when the judge is determining the factual basis for sentence, except for a few very technical matters which do not apply here. …and what else went wrong? I suspect that when Iron Age chieftains dispensed justice,

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the convicted person could always address the court as to the suitable penalty including the factual basis. Since then, no doubt the same rule has applied. It has certainly been in place for hundreds of years. It should have applied in your case. Where a court fails to allow the defence to address the court, sentences have been quashed, R v Billericay Justices ex parte Rumsey 1978 Crim LR 305. Where the judge does want to hear the mitigation, he or she has to ‘listen patiently’. The judge cannot by interruption or by offensive comments prevent counsel from addressing the court, R v Harris 1986 Unreported 26/6/86. In your case, the Judge prevented your counsel from addressing the court about the facts. Although this is becoming quite common, it is still irregular.

turn to mitigate. If either the prosecution counsel or the Judge objected to this course she should have held her ground and pointed out the relevant entries in the law books.

What should my barrister have done? The best way to deal with a disputed factual basis is to do either a basis of plea document or a sentencing note. They amount to the much the same thing. The document should refer to the relevant law and what the contentions of the defence are. It should contain the key points. There are dangers if it is too long or too short. The prosecution will probably agree with some of the matters suggested and then everyone knows what is to be considered. Some triggerhappy judges have reduced the plea discount for a rejected basis of plea, but this is very rare. In any event, a basis of plea must have a better chance of a fair sentence than just being sentenced on the prosecution version. Your barrister was fortunate as she had the lunch break to prepare her submissions about: a) the prosecution needing to prove their case so that the court was sure, b) the Judge could only sentence you on a factual basis he was sure about, and c) she had a right and a duty to address the Judge about what the factual basis was. As soon as the court resumed, she should have told the court she did not require a Newton but she was going to deal with the factual basis of your case when it came to her

Is there an appeal? Unfortunately the Court of Appeal does not provide a second chance for your counsel to repair the damage done in the lower Court. The Court of Appeal judges see their task as to decide whether the sentencing Judge made an error in his findings of fact. Your problem is that your counsel had an opportunity to deal with the prosecution case and, by saying nothing, she would be taken as having agreed to the Judge’s provisional view. I can’t see the Court of Appeal being remotely interested in allowing submissions to be made to them which could and should have been made to the sentencing Judge. It is a bit like a football match. Once the whistle is blown at the end, your chances are over. If you mess up a penalty kick you can’t come back in six months’ time to take it again. If you were to appeal saying your barrister failed to represent you properly, you would have to waive ‘privilege’. That means the private conversations and documents between you and your legal team are revealed. Your counsel would make a statement and the Court of Appeal would inevitably say you had agreed to the course she had taken.

Suppose the Judge had stopped my counsel from addressing the court? The Judge would have been in error and there would be the exchange on the transcript to show there had been an irregularity. You could then appeal over this irregularity. But would it have made any difference? I don’t know the facts of your case but your point about phones being able to be passed around is a valid one. However, who knows what might have happened.

Asking Robert and Jason questions: Please make sure your question concerns sentence and not conviction and send the letter to Inside Time, marked for Robert Banks or Jason Elliott. Unless you say you don’t want your question and answer published, it will be assumed you have no objection to publication. It is usually not possible to determine whether a particular defendant has grounds of appeal without seeing all the paperwork. Analysing all the paperwork is not possible. The column is designed for simple questions and answers. No-one will have their identity revealed. Letters which a) are without an address, b) cannot be read, or c) are sent direct, cannot be answered. Letters sent by readers to Inside Time are sent on to a solicitor, who forwards them to Robert and Jason. If your solicitor wants to see previous questions and answers, they are at www.banksr.com.

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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Reading group round-up Image courtesy of Matthew Meadows

The report this month is sent by V. Mihaylov, reading group member and Toe-by-Toe co-ordinator at HMP Thameside. At Thameside we pride ourselves on two book groups - Quick Reads and Advanced, each meeting every two weeks. Our latest book was the famous Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. As usual, the discussion takes place in the calm and friendly environment of our beloved library and is hosted by one of the volunteers from Prison Reading Groups. Copies of the book are also supplied by PRG and everyone taking part gets to keep one for himself. After a short explanation for new members of what the book group is about, we get down to business. Catch 22 follows the lives of US Air Force troops stationed on the Italian island of Pianosa in the Mediterranean during World War II. The core of the novel is the story of a soldier named Yossarian and his attempt to avoid the fighting. Heller himself served in a bomber squadron in Italy during WWII and flew sixty missions. He later described the whole experience as ‘going on a milk run’. The discussion kicks off and members instantly agree that the book is full of “crazy, mad and nuts” characters and everybody has an aftertaste of absurdity after reading it. There is a movie based on the novel that one member found more enjoyable. “You can understand the film and characters are easy to distinguish”, he reports. There are multiple definitions throughout the book of the vicious circle that is “Catch 22”. Yossarian finds out that there is an army rule stating that every pilot has to fly a certain number of missions but this number is everincreasing. The only way out is to get yourself declared insane. But if you are sane enough to do this, then you are sane enough to be a

bomber on active combat duty. The group agreed that the secondary characters such as Nately and the powerful Milo Minderbinder are also caught in a paradoxical catch-22. The ending of the novel made a big impression on some members. After refusing to fly any more missions, Yossarian ends up in Rome, where everything is destroyed by bombs and human horror is visible on every street corner. The story suddenly changes from unusual and funny to sad and sober. The group agreed that one needed to live through war to ‘successfully misunderstand’ the irrationality of Catch 22. A few people suggested that the book actually mocks the army bureaucracy in the Vietnam War - the book was published in 1961 - rather than (or as well as) World War II. The choice of book proved to be rather controversial and many concurred that it probably made more sense in its own time. But the discussion was enough to convince the ones who hadn’t read it to give it another try.

The Thameside group is part of the Prison Reading Groups project (PRG), sponsored by the University of Roehampton and generously supported by Give a Book www. giveabook.org.uk, Random House Group and Profile Books. If your prison doesn’t have a reading group, encourage your librarian to have a look at the PRG website www.roehampton.ac.uk/ prison-reading-groups. PRG has also worked with National Prison Radio to start a radio book club. If you have access to NPR, listen out for details and ways to take part.

Get Into Reading Cheryl Hunter, Reader in Residence, funded by the PD Team NHSE/NOMS, and the Shared Reading group in the PIPE, HMP Hull, read a sonnet. Later Life (verse 6) Christina Rossetti

We lack, yet cannot fix upon the lack: Not this, nor that; yet somewhat, certainly. We see the things we do not yearn to see Around us: and what see we glancing back? Lost hopes that leave our hearts upon the rack, Hopes that were never ours yet seem’d to be, For which we steer’d on life’s salt stormy sea Braving the sunstroke and the frozen pack. If thus to look behind is all in vain, And all in vain to look to left or right, Why face we not our future once again, Launching with hardier hearts across the main, Straining dim eyes to catch the invisible sight, And strong to bear ourselves in patient pain?

I chose verse six from this poem to follow the reading of a harrowing chapter in our current book, The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman, a literary biography set in a Jewish ghetto in wartime Warsaw. The immediate reaction of the group members was to look at form and language, with Steve likening this to Shakespeare, encouraged by its sonnet form. Andrew remarked on the rhyme pattern and repetition of some of the words, which also recalled Shakespeare for him: ‘We lack, yet cannot fix upon the lack’ and ‘If thus to look behind is all in vain, And all in vain to look to left or right’ Andrew suggested the first line could imply a sense of ‘the grass is greener’. We think there is something better out there but we don’t know until we follow a particular path, not necessarily with the results we had hoped for. Steve saw the poem overall as affirming despite past negative experiences we can look forward positively. For Chaz this was a poem of regret, a reluctance to move forward or perhaps moving forward with stoicism; and for Dave the words manifested a sense of discontent. Keith on the other hand offered a very interesting interpretation of a poem of

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unrequited love - the ‘lack’ being a couple unable to be together; the ‘sunstroke’ the heat of passion and the ‘frozen pack’ because the relationship could not move on. Other phrases picked out were the ‘salt stormy sea’. Why include ‘salt’ wondered Andrew we know that sea water is salty so the addition seemed superfluous. Perhaps, he suggested, it introduces another of the five senses - the taste of life. Steve paralleled the idea of salt tears. The ‘stormy sea’ Andrew saw as the ebb and flow of life. We queried the phrase ‘hopes that were never ours yet seem’d to be’ to which Jeremy remarked, profoundly, that we can know joy and yet not feel happy. ‘Straining dim eyes to catch the invisible sight’ - why dim eyes we wondered. Steve said this contrasts the past we can see clearly and the future we cannot, however hard we try. Richard liked the phrase ‘look to left or right’ representing the different paths we can take through our lives. Returning to the first line, on a more personal note, Jeremy remarked that you have few needs in prison and yet feel the lack of the simple things; for Walter being in prison meant loss of family - the worst experience for him. Again Jeremy remarked that the ‘patient pain’ of the last line is what he feels he has to bear in his prison sentence. It is long and painful and yet it has to be borne patiently because others control it. We ended our discussion by talking about how much more powerful the language of a poem is for being read aloud. Reflecting on a selection of the comments from what was a very full discussion in this group, demonstrates how close inspection of a text can throw up so many different interpretations of both language and feelings, all of which are valid. Despite sometimes dodging about from word to word and line to line we manage to make sense of a poem that on first sight seems incomprehensible. It is a privilege to read with this group, who, over the past 18 months, have developed into engaged, responsive and reflective literary thinkers who together form a respectful and cohesive group that embodies the principles and ethos of shared reading.


Do you, or anyone you know, struggle with reading? The Shannon Trust Reading Plan (Toe by Toe) is a simple & efficient way of helping people to learn to read. Prisoners who can read teach prisoners who can’t. If you would like more information on how to become involved, as either a Mentor or a Learner , contact the Reading Plan Lead in your prison (ask a Shannon Trust Mentor who this is) or write to: Shannon Trust, Freepost RTKY-RUXG-KGYH The Foundry, 17-19 Oval Way, LONDON SE11 5RR

The Reader Organisation is an award-winning charitable social enterprise working to connect people through great literature. In weekly sessions, a practitioner reads aloud a short story or extract and a poem. Anyone in the group may choose to read too: some do, others don’t. In this way, connections are made with thoughts and feelings; some people reflect on these privately, others are more vocal. Either is fine. The emphasis is on enjoying the literature.


Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

The Golden Age of Probation: Mission v Market by Roger Statham (Editor)

Barrister Philip Taylor reviews The Golden Age of Probation: Mission v Market on YouTube Philip Taylor Richmond Green Chambers


oday I am looking at a book which has come to us from Waterside Press. It’s about the Probation Service and one book that I’ve found fascinating. I’ve had dealings with it, like everybody has who is in the legal profession. The book is called ‘The Golden Age of Probation - Mission versus Market’. It’s this book here, we’ll have a look at it. It’s been edited by Roger Statham and there’s a foreword by Alan Bennett, the wellknown playwright. We’ve given it a title, which is quite a long one, which is a quote from Alan Bennett: ‘Probation belongs at a local level. Profit should not come into it,’ says Alan Bennett. So you are warned where this book is coming from and going to. Before we come onto that, let me show you the book … It’s a paperback, there’s quite a lot been said about this already. From Waterside Press, ‘Putting justice into words’ - a little slogan there. The book runs to 230-odd pages, you can see an index at the back, and you’ve got quite a series of references, again at the back, but what you do have is a whole series of chapters, all written by different people, there’s one there, for instance, that’s ‘A Probation Journey’ - looking at areas of the country and how the system was working. Then let’s go to the front of the book and I’ll show you the main pages. There’s the front. Then you’ve got the actual chapter headings and the people that have written the chapters - it’s a collection of works, some twenty in total, there you go. Then you’ve got the bit that I do advise you to read, that’s the acknowledgements from Roger Statham and the foreword, which is very short, from Alan Bennett, which is well worth reading and I will refer to that in a minute. Then you go into a load about the

editors and contributors and the author and a dedication and then you go into the introduction, ‘Probation - the beginning or end?’ and that’s really where we are at because I found this a sad book in some ways bearing in mind that I have had my own difficulties in trying to deal with some probation people when it comes to court work. But I think they do a very good job and I’ve been quite concerned about what’s been happening because as you will hear from my review, which I have written with my wife Elizabeth, I’ve got some concerns about what is happening at the moment and we’ve really got to grip this subject. We’ve given it the title which is a long-winded quote, not from Mr Bennett but from me, more than anything else, but what I say is this, the work of what was always known as ‘the Probation Service’ is well-remembered and described here in this fascinating historical picture of fifty years’ worth of how probation operated in England and Wales until the changes brought about in the 21st Century, ie very recently. Of course the problem is always going to be one of change, with many seeing the benefits of profit as a theme which runs like a golden thread through this book and one which many will abhor, because they don’t see profit as being anything to do with this sort or work. Now, we’ll get on to that in a minute. The author, who is actually the editor, Roger Statham, has brought together an excellent series of writings which will be of benefit to legal historians and, just possibly, serious future politicians who might care to look at criminal justice in a slightly different way. Yes, the feature of ‘cost’ does feature strongly throughout and we feel that you as the reader will be on either one side or the other in the debate about whether this service has any future in the public sector only. Now that great privatisor, Margaret Thatcher, was, in my view, right to look again at the way that public sector business is conducted but I would suggest that a line has to be drawn in the sand somewhere between those public services which must remain public and those which are

capable of privatization. I raised that with her, when she was alive, when she was Prime Minister, and I got a fairly cold glance back, but I am determined to stick to my guns and that is that the view here is that probation does not cross that line into privatization. There are other lines crossed like the prison service, all sorts of other things, but I think eventually we are going to have to look at those areas which really have to be maintained by the state itself only. That’s a matter for politicians at the end but there’s a lot of feeling about it from those who have worked in the system, and that’s where this book is really coming from. The basis of the book, and its powerful forward by Alan Bennett, reinforces where we are today - frankly, in as much chaos as in the past - with no proper thought put in to reforming a service which attempts to help change the lives of some of the most marginalized people in our communities, because that’s what the actual customers are when you think about it. Bennett writes the offquoted view that ‘The notion that probation, which is intended to help those who have fallen foul of the law, should make a profit for shareholders seems beyond satire.” And he is being kind here, not comic. The doom merchants will always say that the reforms of the sort we are seeing now under both Tory and Labour governments - and that includes coalition - will ruin the system and the cumulative wisdom of a hundred years of devoted public service is going to be undermined. And that’s certainly the thing that is coming through in this book and from the people I’ve spoken to. But that is the problem, of course, with any reform. It’s compounded by the main fact that successive parliaments have not been prepared to face proper reform of the criminal justice system but then they mess it up, play around with it, chuck additional clauses in to already confused bills, ending up with the usual muddle of legislation which another administration then tries to rectify, which it does not, usually making things worse. And I have to say that as a practitioner because, frankly, some of the CJAs that we have really have been a bit of a disgrace; I’m sure any barrister and solicitor advocate will see what I mean from what we have to deal with in the Courts. So, where are we with Statham’s lively and challenging twenty contributions in this excellent ‘The Golden Age of Probation’? Probably farther along the road to substantial reform than we know. The old view is ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t

In It and On It


fix it.’ It is strongly persuasive but the message of this book is clear from Alan Bennett: ‘Probation belongs at a local level and profit should not come into it.’ We think he is right and we hope the reader does too. We also hope all candidates for election in 2015 when we have our General Election, six months from now, read this book and stop mucking up the criminal process further if elected. It’s a tall order, if you think about it, but when chaos is heaped on chaos, hopefully something constructive and not dogmatic might arise from the ashes. We can but hope. And this book will remain a golden treasure for anyone affected or involved in any way with what should be the remedy of probation for the 21st century instead of constant custody. Now, you can probably see I’ve got a little bit of disgust in my voice right now, while I’m presenting this, because I haven’t been very happy about seeing what is going on, but there again the criminal justice as a whole needs a radical re-look and we are going to get that at some stage in this session I am sure. Here is the book again - it is well worth reading. It’s a light book, a paperback, 200 odd pages, again, you’ve got another experience of what’s happened in probation from the people at the coalface and - ‘My personal probation journey’ from another person - I haven’t been able to go through all the contributors - but it lists a very large number of people who’ve been involved within the service itself. I think, apart from anything else, it’s a legal history book in terms of criminal law and what we’ve been doing. I, like everyone else, have no idea what the future will be. I’m glad we’ve got this book because it’s a good contribution but it is time people started thinking about what on earth we are doing. You think about the number of people who are locked up, the cost per head of the prison population; why things like probation are there to help, not hinder matters, and the whole issue needs to be looked at again. But it will be for wiser heads than mine… At least we’ve got this and some eminent people who have put some persuasive points to us.

The Golden Age of Probation: Mission v Market Publisher: Waterside Press (24 Sep 2014) ISBN-13: 978-1909976146 RRP £19.95 IN IT, Robinson’s prison diary is a fly on the wall log of everything the author witnessed during a very short stay in prison - the Guardian’s prison correspondent Eric Allison dubbed Jonathan the ‘penal Adrian Mole’. ON IT details Robinson’s work at prison reform following his release, including eyewatering exchanges with those at the helm of our prison system. Jonathan Aitken described the book as ‘a thumping good read’.

Following the success of former prisoner (and now prison reform campaigner) Jonathan Robinson’s eBooks IN IT and ON IT, are now available in paperback.

Both titles can be ordered in paperback. IN IT: £10.00. ISBN 978-1502808165. ON IT: £6.99. ISBN 978-1503001800. www.jonathanrobinson.org



Inside Poetry

Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

If you would like to contribute to the Poetry section, please send your poems to ‘Poetry’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

Star Poem of the Month

Visits, Heaven & Hell

These Walls

Andrew - HMP Hull

Simone Morton - HMP Peterborough

She saw me from across the room Her face lit up and she flew up into my arms, a bundle of delight I love you daddy - I love you too And suddenly, love, like an invisible bullet Shot me down, and I was bleeding My heart smashed open and broken I can’t take this hurt anymore, it’s like a sentence of death, but there’s nothing I can do, I’ve got no options left Her seeing me here, in this disgusting place, leaves me reeling, like a blow to the head, but I can’t show her that I’m bleeding and down on the ground And feel I’ve only got seconds to live

An Introduction to Charismatic Molecular Biology Gordon Chorlton - Guernsey Prison

I would be very surprised to see Philip Larkin, the poet, in the cell next to me So as far as I know he never broke the law And was a valuable member of the community (Though he’s not around anymore) But if he landed in the cell next to me I could ask his opinion of my poetry Or maybe play a game of pool He would think of profound things to say About the fourteen pounds forty pence weekly pay If he got a job, maybe buffing the upper corridor I would say “Don’t worry Phil, about being a crim Do some weights with us in the gym” He might enjoy the dichotomy between physical and emotional strength My Buddhist ex-girlfriend and I saw Phil at a reading in Exeter one time It seemed we were the only people in awe of his poignant rhymes I asked Phil about that, very casually While queuing for lunch, in the usual way And he said, “Life’s full of disappointments, mate, Don’t forget to take your plate” One weekend I drew Phil in the prison pool tournament He cheated and won which led to a resentment The next day he came to Church with me But he left early Phil put in a parole application After about a year It was amusing yet respectful, or so I hear They turned him down; he’d had a warning for swearing in the library Congratulations to this months winner who receives our £25 prize for ‘Star Poem of the Month’.

And there’s no curing me, ‘cos she’s in my blood, so when I stagger back to my cell, she’s still here, in jail a part of me, and I want my blood to run, I want to slash myself wide open and set her free

What You in For?

Louis Burdett - HMP Long Lartin What you in for mate, what did you do? Murder, but what’s it got to do with you? I run this wing so I don’t want no ‘wrong un’ on here Fair dos but let’s get one thing crystal clear I ain’t your bitch so don’t push me around Remember that and we’ll be sound as a pound So keep your distance I like to be left alone I see now I’ve stuck up for myself You’ve changed your tone So there’s a new sheriff in this town And here’s how it’s gonna go down

Lament of Old Age Najeeb Aslam - HMP Leeds Your gaze travelled from my heart to my core (in such a fashion) That in one glance it was both my love and passion Where has the headiness of youth’s evening drink gone? It’s time to get up and go, gone are the sweet dreams of dawn This bewitching pattern of footprints - to whom do they belong? Was it my beloved scattering rose petals as she went along? My (very) vision blinded me like a veil As every eye fell upon your face unveiled I cannot tell the difference between yesterday and today Since you left, all are the same, everything falls away Aslam, time has taken its toll and left you for dead What happened to all the carousels, where’s your youth fled?

If these walls could speak You’d hear them whisper of all the prisoners’ past You’d hear them talk of all the pain And the girls who didn’t last The ones who act in self defence To end up behind the wall The one who tried to protect And somehow took the fall The one sent to battle against the law A battle that was lost A man who lives a life of sin But the girl, she pays the cost These walls won’t lie, they will admit That most deserve this fate But there are those trapped inside The wrong side of the gate The walls they know the truth is here The good mix with the wrong The screams of desperate women echoes The prison song But these walls won’t say a word you see For all they do is cry For this is the place where flowers wilt And happiness comes to die So when I see these tears run down The inside of the wall I know for years these bricks will stand The prisoners will fall

Let’s Get Lost Together Paul - HMP Albany Let’s get lost together out in the night Find the darkest corners - evading the light We’ll hide all our shadows, our hopes and our fears We won’t let the moon illuminate our tears We’ll hold on to our secrets and speak only lies Coz if I told you truths you’d only question why So let’s ignore our pasts and forget about the future Let’s escape the present and just get lost together

insidepoetry Volume 5 Copies are available at a special discount price of £7.50 + £1.50 p&p for Inside Time readers, family and friends. If you order these via Amazon you will pay considerably more. Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Hampshire SO30 2GB. Tel: 0844 335 6483

Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

Be Aware; the Black Mamba’s There Stephan Watson-Castle HMP Hewell The mamba man comes today People smoke it, anyway Running up and down, trying their play To get that high, that they crave They say you rattle; do you f**k! Just take a read of the black mamba book Mamba man comes today Everyone’s happy, canteen’s arrived Running around the wing so mad After that bit of green swag The mambalance will be around To fix them up, that hit the ground Selling their clothes, selling their trainers What else would they sell? These men are so craven; “you can tell” Lend me this, lend me that I promise you pal, I’ll pay you straight back If you don’t, you’re not my mate Names in the box, then it’s too late What do you do? LEND! LEND! LEND! Or be a good friend; and tell them straight This drug ain’t your friend It will send you crazy in the end

Such a Prat Hugh Kunz - HMP Whatton Goodbye to all that He said matter of fact I’m going away I’m leaving the jail But it wasn’t too long Till he did something wrong Came back like the tide Now in here to reside And he feels such a prat For saying goodbye to all that


J Barton - HMP Woodhill My tears fill an ocean Motions flowing against the storm Tidal waves are crashing all around Transformed Tsunami tides are breaking Sweeping ship to shore Dark clouds are rolling over as the waves begin to roar

If you would like to contribute to the Poetry section, please send your poems to ‘Poetry’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

Inside Poetry


A Humorous Take on the Perils of Daytime TV Dave Loxley - HMP Littlehey

It was bang-up again, there’s a shortage of staff That’s the third time this week, are they having a laugh It’s doing my head in, my cell mate’s too, nothing to read and nothing to do So after a fag and a cup of tea, the only thing left is watching TV The only thing on was Bargain Hunt, and we were so bored we gave it a punt As the teams set off to go round the fair, I saw my wife was standing there As if just being there wasn’t enough, she had a stall and was selling my stuff Understandably I was feeling quite vexed, so you wouldn’t believe what happened next I changed the channel and what did I see, large as life on National TV That’s my house, and my front door, and someone’s going in - whatever for? What programme is this, I wonder in dread So I ask my cellmate, who’s laid on his bed It’s ‘The Sheriffs are Coming’, this one’s a repeat This bird’s being evicted, kicked out on the street Her old man’s banged up, and if he’s watching this I bet he’s feeling really p**sed I change channels once more, and she’s there yet again It’s ‘Location, Location’ and she’s moving to Spain I’m beginning to feel like a bit of a failure Still, it could have been worse if she’d gone to Australia And so, with a feeble attempt at a grin I take down her photo, throw it straight in the bin!

Wrong Place, Wrong Time Alex Carr - HMP Wandsworth

I told them I didn’t kill anyone, they told me I had the wrong friend I told them I don’t deserve this, they told me my life deserves to end I told them I was innocent, they told me murder was my crime I told them this isn’t joint enterprise, it’s wrong place, wrong time I told them I have a son, they told me I was bad I told them I tried to stop the fight, they told me I was mad I told them I’m not guilty, they told me this punishment is mine I told them this isn’t joint enterprise, it’s wrong place, wrong time I told them show me mercy, they told me 25 years I.P.P I told them I’m only 20, they told me you’ll be 45 before you’re free I told them this isn’t justice; they told me our laws are fine I told them this isn’t joint enterprise, it’s wrong place, wrong time I told them I didn’t have a weapon, they told me they didn’t care I told them I wasn’t a part of it, they told me you’re guilty you were there I told them I was innocent, they told me murder was my crime I told them this isn’t joint enterprise, it’s wrong place, wrong time We will award a prize of £25 to the entry selected as our ‘Star Poem of the Month’. To qualify for a prize, poems should not have won a prize in any other competition or been published previously. Send entries to: Inside Time, Poetry, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire, SO30 2GB. Please put your name, number and prison on the same sheet of paper as your poem. If you win we can’t send your money if we don’t know who or where you are! By submitting your poems to Inside Time you are agreeing that they can be published in any of our ‘not for profit links’, these include the newspaper, website and any forthcoming books. You are also giving permission for Inside Time to use their discretion in allowing other organisations to reproduce this work if considered appropriate, unless you have clearly stated that you do not want this to happen. Any work reproduced in other publications will be on a ‘not for profit’ basis. WHEN SUBMITTING YOUR WORK PLEASE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING PERMISSION: THIS IS MY OWN WORK AND I AGREE TO INSIDE TIME PUBLISHING IT IN ALL ASSOCIATE SITES AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS AS APPROPRIATE.

© Dash - Fotolia

I Lie in my Bed

S Neal - HMP Lindholme I lie in my bed... And see four walls and a ceiling They stand there around me silent and unfeeling Sometimes I wonder if they could speak Whether they’d tell me why they’re strong and I’m weak They’re lucky, those walls Having no pain to bear Not living in sadness With no one to care But sometimes the sun rushes in From one lonely window And the breeze cools my cheek and suddenly I know That the walls aren’t so lucky They may never hunger or strife But no matter how fortunate They aren’t blessed with life No they can’t love and sing They can’t have memories Of a bird on the wing Yes, now I am the lucky one The one loved by me for after this suffering I will get my reward

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TWENTY QUESTIONS TO TEST YOUR GENERAL KNOWLEDGE 1. In the title of the orchestral piece by Vaughan Williams which bird is ‘Ascending’?

11. British band The Feeling’s bass guitarist Richard Jones is married to which UK pop princess?

2. Roger McGough is part of a group of poets associated with which UK city?

12. The character Miss Hannigan runs an orphanage in which hit Broadway musical?

3. Born in 1813, what was the first name of the great German opera composer Wagner?

13. Which sailor character features in one of the stories of the Arabian Nights?

4. In which country did the boxer breed of dog originate?

14. In 1989, who was chancellor of West Germany when the Berlin Wall came down?

5. What distance was Roger Bannister running when he famously broke a four-minute record?

15. With which sport is Goran Ivanisevic most closely associated?

6. In Greek mythology, of what is Eros the god?

16. Which ex-pub singer turned opera star’s first album The Voice was released in 2000?

7. Mick Hucknall is the lead singer of which pop group?

17. How many ancient wonders of the world are there?

8. In addition to directing and producing, US dancer Bob Fosse was famed in which other field?

18. In the sporting world, what does the abbreviation FA stand for?

9. In which ocean are the Volcano Islands located?

19. Which tree produces the seed from which chocolate is made?

10. Which wine has types called Fino and Amontillado?

20. The Classic horse race the Derby is run at which English racecourse?

Inside Chess Across


1. Language spoken by 220 million people from Morocco to Iraq (6) 4. Capital of the French department of Loire-Atlantique (6) 9. Founder and leader of Italian Fascism, known as II Duce (6,9) 10. An afternoon sleep or rest, especially in hot countries (6) 11. An advocate of the redistribution of landed property (8) 12. The curved sickle shape of the waxing or waning moon (8) 14. Dutch city in which Allied troops unsuccessfully attempted to gain a bridgehead across the Rhine in 1944 (6) 15. A typeface with letters slanting upward to the right (6) 18. Roman coin worth a quarter of a denarius (8) 21. One of the two major political parties of the Republic of Ireland (4,4) 22. A counting device with beads on rods (6) 24. Musical featuring the song “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”(4,2,2,2,5) 25. The Dog Star, the brightest-appearing star in the heavens (6) 26. Joseph —, author of the novel”Catch-22”(6)

Hellen Dani HMP Foston Hall CHRISTMAS WORD SEARCH A N G E L Y G M A R Y D E W T Q D F O F G H I I Y H L J F R H Y S D N E I R F S S H E P H E R D T D G F R S T T A S I F G A E I G R G N E T S L F G R S Y T E C B W E B D A Q E W R B N H H W I N S S G A F G T D S A O F O I C A F E E N F C O L D G W R I S L G H T E A A M E E M R F A E E E G N A D D Y M B R Y T L N K M S O A K G E Z X V S R Y A K A E I B I S B C B K L F R C K I C N S O T R E E S E F S Y P E N T G T T T G L T J D T D H O S C I N A F E L K Y O P N H N U F E U I B A S I A H C A N D L E S N R K L M N G T B C M V B E E M S F C E I I H S D D V E T O N H E I O P L O T O S A N T A J O P E S T A Y P G Y L L O H F D V N B M S L Angel Bells

derive great pleasure from our game this year, wherever you are.

Stable Star

1. A workshop or studio, especially of an artist or designer (7) 2. Zodiacal constellation between Pisces and Taurus (5) 3. Period of human culture that began in the Middle East about 1100 BC (4,3) 5. Ancient kingdom of Mesopotamia including the city of Nineveh (7) 6. An allowable variation in any measurable property (9) 7. The state capital of New Mexico (5,2) 8. Jean Henri —, Swiss founder of the Red Cross (6) 13. Cartoon cat always in pursuit of Tweetie Pie (9) 16. The large muscle at the back of the upper arm (7) 17. A large French country house or castle (7) 18. An aqueous solution of sodium chloride used medically (6) 19. City in which the television series “Frasier”is set (7) 20. A person employed to guide and assist a group of tourists (7) 23. A ring-shaped coral reef enclosing a lagoon (5)





Angel ACTS Bells COLOSSIANS Bethlehem CORINTHIANS Candles DEUTERONOMY EPHESIANS Candy Cane EXODUS Carols GALATIANS Cold HEBREWS Decorations ISAIAH Eggnog JAMES Family JEREMIAH Frankincense JOB Friends JOHN Fruitcake JOSHUA Gabriel LUKE Gifts MALACHI God MARK Greeting Cards Holly Icicles Jesus Joel


Skates Sleigh Snow Flakes Stable Star Stocking Three Wise Men Toboggan Toys Tree Wreath

Thanks to Hellen Dani HMP Foston Hall for compiling this word search. If you fancy compiling one for us please just send it in max 20 x 20 grid & complete with answers shown on a grid. If we use it we will send you £5 as a thank you!

The chess problem this month is one of my all time favourites and was composed by Richard Reti in 1921 and shows just how incredible chess is. White is moving up the board and is to move. It looks like he has no chance of saving the game as he cannot catch the black pawn, coming down the board and he is 4 moves from protecting his c-pawn, whereas black can reach it in a single move. If I told you that white can salvage a draw would you believe me? If you can solve it and be first out of the hat you’ll win a chess magazine!

Just before I answer more of your questions this month I would like to point out that my chess problems have to be set at a level I think everyone can try. One or two people have written to me to say either they are strong players (and the positions are therefore too easy) or they are weaker players (and the positions are therefore too difficult) but understand that I cannot please everyone all of the time. That said I hope you all enjoy them anyway and I will mix as I can. Straight to business then and two books I recommend for beginners are ‘The Right Way to Play Chess’ by DB Pritchard and ‘Logical Chess, Move by Move’ by Irving Chernev. The Chess magazine I give as a prize is called ‘Chess Monthly’ and is available on subscription from The London Chess Centre on Baker Street. Several of you have asked if you can play chess with either people from outside or other prisons. I can only say that I think this depends on current rules and regulations and you should go through your prison system. There is a British Correspondence Chess Association and if you have access to email or can get someone to access it the address http://www.bcca.info/ and I am sorry that I cannot find an address to write by snail mail - they don’t provide one. Theo asks if Kings used to play chess before sending soldiers into battle. I don’t know if that is true but I do know that Lennox Lewis often played chess before he went into the ring! He also asked how old is chess? The thinking is that it is about 500 years old and derived in India, steadily moving across to Europe with various rule changes. Finally I was asked about time scales for replying to the competition. It is not a hard and fast rule and depends on newspaper deadlines etc but in essence I will draw a winner at the end of the month. I know that readers get access at different stages of the month but I have to have a cut-off point. The golden rule should be - send me your answers as soon as you can. Happy New Year to you all - may you

8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 A








You can write to me care of the English Chess Federation at The Watch Oak, Chain Lane, Battle, East Sussex TN33 OYD or you can email me at [email protected] englishchess.org.uk and they will forward it to me. Please note that you should always write to me at the ECF not via InsideTime. The answer to the December puzzle was 17.Qe6+ Kh8 18.Nf7+ Kg8 [18...Rxf7 19.Qe8+ Rf8 20. Qxf8#] 19.Nh6+ Kh8 20.Qg8+ Rxg8 21.Nf7# Well done to all those who found the solution. Congratulations to the winner (who in line with the new competition system will be announced next month - see page 54) a chess magazine is on the way.


Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org

“QUOTES” If you want a daft comedian running London just leave things as they are Russell Brand says he doesn’t after all wish to become the capital’s mayor

Kirsty Young, presenter of Desert Island Discs, says she could happily have cast away her dignity with Sir Tom Jones, now 74

Advice from the Duchess of York, who once upon a time was married to a handsome prince

The more you get, the more similar they become

I fell in love with my boss in a 22-year-old sort of way… but my boss was president of the United States

1 7

Monica Lewinsky

6 9 1


9 3 5 8 4 2 6

9 6 1



Kirsty Young



David Attenborough

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Andorra Austria Belgium Bosnia Crete Croatia Estonia Finland France Gibralter Greece Holland Hungary Italy Latvia Liechtenstein ×3

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PROBLEM? WE CAN HANDLE IT! (c) Daily Sudoku Ltd 2014. All rights reserved.


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If you would like to win £5, please submit your Pathfinder - grids should either be 15 x 15 or 12 x 12 squares. Remember when you send us your Pathfinder to include your name, number and prison - otherwise you will not receive your prize money.

Neil Speed is a former prisoner who came up with the concept Luxembourg of GEF BAD CHI whilst in prison. Inside Time features a GEF BAD Macedonia CHI puzzle on this page. GEF BAD CHI by Neil Speed is published Malta by Xlibris. RRP:Monaco £12.35 Using the letters G,E,F,B,A,D,C,H & I fill in the blank squares. Norway Each letter A-I must appear only once in each line column and 3x3 grid. Poland

Daily Sudoku: Thu 13-Nov-2014

2 8 7 3 6 9 1 4 5 6 4 1 2 5 7 9 3 8 3 9 5 8 4 1 7 2 6 8 7 6 a 1prompt 9 3 response, 2 5 4 friendly We guarantee advice 5 2 4and7 thoroughly 8 6 3 1reliable 9 representation from an experienced team. 9 1 3 4 2 5 6 8 7 Parole 1 5Hearings, 8 9 7 Judicial 2 4 6 Reviews, 3 Recalls, Adjudications, & Categorisation 7 6 2 5 3 4 8 9 1 reviews 4 3 9 6 1 and 8 5Prison 7 2 Law We are Criminal

Andorra Austria Belgium Bosnia Crete Croatia Estonia Finland France Gibralter Greece Holland Hungary Italy Latvia Liechtenstein Luxembourg Macedonia Malta Monaco Norway Poland Portugal Romania Serbia Slovakia Spain Sweden Switzerland Ukraine United Kingdom

European Pathfinder




TV channels today lack variety, says Sir David Attenborough

(c) Daily Sudoku Ltd 2014. All rights reserved.





My reputation was the first destroyed by the internet, says Monica Lewinsky, recalling her affair with Bill Clinton

He pulsates sexuality. I can only imagine he is a killer in the sack

Don’t let the day go by without looking for fairies and magic

Russell Brand Duchess of York


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Portugal Romania Submitted by DE HMP Dovegate. Start on the left with the first number and work your way across Serbia following the instructions in each cell. See how quickly you can do each puzzle and how your Slovakia times improve month by month! Answers on page below. If you would like to submit similar Spain puzzlesSweden we will pay £5 for any that are chosen for print. Please send in a minimum of three puzzlesSwitzerland together with the answer! Ukraine United Kingdom



+110 -38


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÷13 ×3



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+9 of

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Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org


Read all about it!

Neil Wilkinson Ashworth Hospital

So this is how Hugh Hefner does the Nativity


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M Hardacre HMP Frankland (£25) C McGuire HMP Frankland (£5) Thomas Smyth HMP Frankland (£5)


Another £25 prize is on offer for the best caption to this month’s picture. What do you think is being thought or said here?

insideknowledge The prize quiz where we give you the Questions and the Answers!

All the answers are within this issue of Inside Time - all you have to do is find them!!

Santa Claus Goes Through Security Checkpoint At U.S. Capitol

>> To enter The winner will receive £25 and the two runner ups £5. See black box to the right for details of how to enter.

Answers to last months News quiz: 1. Latvia, 2. Sunderland, 3. James Corden, 4. Rio Ferdinand, 5. Five years, 6. Lloyds, 7. Tesco, 8. Greg Wallace, 9. Charlton Valentine, 10. Calais


The first three names to be drawn with all-correct answers (or nearest) will receive a £25 cash prize. There will also be two £5 consolation prizes. The winners’ names will appear in next month’s issue. 1. How many IPP inmates were there in 2011? 2. Which Christmas song has two levels of meaning? 3. Who found Inside Time to be a lifeline during their time in prison? 4. Who is the director of Sweden’s Prison and Probation Service? 5. Who is Chris Grayling intending ‘to get rid’ of? 6. When was the annual Longford Lecture established? 7. Which book is full of ‘crazy, mad and nuts’ characters?

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Members of dance company The Rockettes pose with animals from the Radio City Christmas special outside Radio City Music Hall in New York.

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9. Roy Keane has just left his job as assistant manager to which club? 10. Which two ‘celebrities’ left the jungle before evictions started?




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Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB. You can use one envelope to enter more than one competition just mark it ‘jailbreak’. A 1st or 2nd class stamp is required on your envelope. CLOSING DATE FOR ALL IS 07/01/15

8. Which two productions were directed by Phyllida Lloyd? 9. What was Inside Time formerly known as? 10. How many female prisoners does the US have in total? 11. What is the name of the brand new show on NPR? 12. Whose case would have been the first miscarriage of justice? 13. Which charity uses drama to work with women in prison? 14. Which project used various methods to see if total mind control could be achieved? 15. Who won the Lifetime Achievement Award at The 2014 Longford Trust Awards?

Answers to Last Month’s Inside Knowledge Prize Quiz 1. 17th November, 2. Lisa-Marie Savage, 3. Denis MacShane, 4. Princess Alexandra, 5. Scoti, 6. More than 450, 7. Clegg Glifford Insurance, 8. Juliet Lyon 9. Half a Million, 10. Martina Cole, 11. 1707, 12. 4891, 13. 9, 14. 2011, 15. Intracerebellar haemorrhage

Our three £25 Prize winners are: Sue Cayton HMP Styal, Stephen Reynolds HMP Hewell, Ian Craig Grant HMP Wymott Plus our £5 Consolation prizes go to: Andrew Curbishley HMP Buckley Hall, Jemma Page HMP Drake Hall

If you have ever served in the Armed Forces and you or your partner need help you may be interested to see what’s on offer from: The Royal British Legion and SSAFA You can write to TRBL/SSAFA (Ref Inside Time) Freepost SW1345 199 Borough High Street London SE1 1AA or tell your partner to call either the Royal Bitish Legion Contact Centre on 0808 8028080 (Mon - Sun 8am - 8pm) www.britishlegion.org.uk or SSAFA on 0207 403 8783 www.ssafa.org.uk Full details are shown in our advert in the classified section of Inside Information. Copies are available in all prison libraries

© iQoncept - Fotolia

3. Which political party thought Westminster Cathedral was a mosque?

prize is in the post

We will be be extending the closing dates for competitions, quizzes and poetry contributions. This will mean we will have to publish the names of winners two issues later but prizes and notifications will still be sent out on time. All answers will appear in the next issue as usual so you won’t be kept waiting to find out if you got it right.


Insidetime December 2014 www.insidetime.org




24-25 Dec 1914 // 100th Anniversary The Christmas truce. British and German troops observed an unofficial ceasefire at several points along the Western Front, singing songs and exchanging greetings from their trenches and even crossing into ‘no man’s land’ to exchange food and souvenirs and play football.

1. What was the title of the last album by The Doors, released just before the death of Jim Morrison in 1971? 2. What is the stage name of John Joseph Lydon? 3. What was the title of Jeff Buckley’s debut album of 1994?

27 Dec 1939 // 75th Anniversary The city of Erzincan, Turkey was destroyed by an earthquake which killed more than 30,000 people. The damage was so extensive that the city was abandoned and reconstructed on a new site to the south.

4. Greetings From Asbury Park was the debut album of which singer? 5. What was the title of Bon Jovi’s earliest really successful album, which reached No 1 in 1986?

13 Dec 1949 // 65th Anniversary Jerusalem became the capital of Israel.

6. Hot Fuss was the highly successful first studio album of which band?

23 Dec 1954 // 60th Anniversary The world’s first successful kidney transplant was carried out in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. (Anti-rejection drugs were not available until 1964 so transplants were only carried out between identical twins until then).

7. The multi music-genre singer Damian Rice comes from which country?

15 Dec 1974 // 40th Anniversary Speed limits in Britain were reduced to conserve fuel during the oil crisis. Motorways remained at 70 mph but dual carriageways were restricted to 60 mph and other roads to 50 mph.

© MW Released life sentenced prisoner

8. What was the title of Michael Jackson’s fifth album, released in 1979? 9. Tomorrow Never Knows is the final track on which highly influential Beatles album of 1966? 10. You Could Have It So Much Better was the second album, released in 2006, by which British band?


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3 Dec 1989 // 25th Anniversary US President George HW Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev announced the end of the Cold War at a meeting in Malta.

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20 Dec 1984 // 30th Anniversary The largest underground fire ever recorded occurred when a freight train carrying 1.1 million litres of petrol derailed in the Summit tunnel in the Pennines, Yorkshire. 31 Dec 1984 // 30th Anniversary The halfpenny coin was withdrawn from circulation in Britain and ceased to be legal tender.


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3 Dec 1984 // 30th Anniversary Terrorists hijacked a Kuwaiti airliner bound for Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran, Iran. Women, children and Muslim passengers were released and the rest were held hostage for 5 days until Iranian authorities stormed the plane. Two American passengers were killed.

17 Dec 1989 // 25th Anniversary The first episode of ‘The Simpsons’ was broadcast on the Fox network in the USA.

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31 Dec 1999 // 15th Anniversary Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation and said that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would take over with immediate effect. 26 Dec 2004 // 10th Anniversary Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami (also called the Boxing Day Tsunami). A massive undersea earthquake near Sumatra caused a devastating tsunami that swamped coastal areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Africa. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history, killing over 230,000 people in 14 countries.

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